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2/29th Australian Infantry Battalion Plaque

Description
Bronze plaque dedicated to the memory of those of the individuals of the 2/29th Battalion,who sacrificed their lives for the nation during the Second World War. The plaque displays a unit colour patch and 8th Division designation.
Location
Shrine of Memories, ANZAC Square, Brisbane Qld 4000

Location of 2/29th Australian Infantry Battalion Plaque

Inscription
Refer to image.
Conflicts commemorated
Second World War, 1939-1945
Unit Memorials
Memorial type
Plaque
Additional information

The 2/29th Infantry Battalion was formed at Bonegilla in Victoria in October 1940. It was part of the 8th Division's 27th Brigade, which was the last AIF infantry brigade raised for service during the Second World War.

At the end of July 1941it sailed with the rest of the brigade to Singapore, arriving on 15 August. In the second week of September the 2/29th travelled to Segament in Malaya, where it continued its training. The battalion would soon put what it had learnt into practice.

The 2/19th attacked along Muar Road on 19 January and held a vital crossroad long enough for the 2/29th and Indians units to withdraw. However, the Japanese had already outflanked the 2/19th position and the Australians and Indians began to withdraw towards Parit Sulong the next morning. Constantly harried from the rear and the air, the force fought its way through a succession of Japanese roadblocks but was halted by strong positions around the bridge across the Simpang Kiri River at Parit Sulong. With its ammunition exhausted, casualties mounting, and no chance of relief, the combined Australian-Indian force struck out through the jungle for Yong Peng on the morning of 23 January. The forces had to leave their wounded behind - about 110 Australians and 40 Indians (described by a witness as "maimed and bloodstained"). Almost all were massacred by the Japanese.

Two hundred and seventy-one men from the 2/19th reached the British lines at Yong Peng, but only 130 from the 2/29th made it. The remaining men were withdrawn to Johore Bahru and then Singapore Island. Despite their heavy losses, both battalions were ordered to be ready for battle again within a few days.

After Bakri, the 2/29th was reinforced with 500 men - many of whom had only recently arrived from Australia - and subsequently fought as part of the defence of Singapore. However, they could not stop the Japanese and on 15 February the British commander on Singapore surrendered.

The 2/29th spent the next three-and-a-half years as prisoners of war. Concentrated in Changi goa|the battalion was used to supply labour for work parties, first in Singapore and then in other parts of Japan's Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere. Men were sent to Burma and Thailand to work on the railway, while others were sent to Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and Japan.

(Source: Australian War Memorial - www.awm.gov.au)

Recorded by
QLD War Memorial Register
Date recorded
14 April 2009

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