Australia

Australian war remains repatriated from Malaysia and Singapore

Australian military personnel carry remains in a coffin at the Royal Malaysian Airforce base in Subang (31 May 2016) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Many of those being returned were killed in the Vietnam War.

The remains of 33 Australian military personnel and their dependents who died during conflicts in South East Asia are being returned to Australia.

The operation is the largest single repatriation of remains in Australian history.

Many of those being returned were Vietnam War casualties. All were buried in cemeteries in Malaysia or Singapore.

They were disinterred at the request of their families and will be returned to Australia for burial.

Thirty-two coffins were flown from Malaysia on Thursday, with one further coffin being returned from Singapore.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The coffins were handed from Malaysian to Australian care at a ceremony at the Subang airforce base on Tuesday morning.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Senior representatives from both militaries were present to pay their respects.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Also present was Christopher Bowtell, a serving member of the Australian army, whose grandfather Robert Walter Bowtell was among those being returned.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Australian government offered 36 families the chance to have their relatives' remains returned - 33 took up the offer.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption The remains are being flown to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base in Richmond, outside Sydney, where a private memorial will be held.

Related Topics