Navy Medic participates in Bataan Death March commemoration

Published on CPL Sebastian Beurich (author and photographer)

Location(s): Bataan, Philippines

Topic(s): Commemoration

Wreaths stand in front a memorial on Corregidor Island following a commemoration ceremony held as part of the Philippines Veteran’s Week celebrations on 7 April 2019. (photo: CPL Sebastian Beurich)
Wreaths stand in front a memorial on Corregidor Island following a commemoration ceremony held as part of the Philippines Veteran’s Week celebrations on 7 April 2019.

Royal Australian Navy sailor Petty Officer Samone Black stands in front of a marker along the Bataan Death March route during a commemorative walk held on 10 April 2019.

Royal Australian Navy sailor Petty Officer Samone Black stands in front of a marker along the Bataan Death March route during a commemorative walk held on 10 April 2019.

Three Australians have joined in an annual march to commemorate the Bataan Death March of World War II.

They were in the Philippines for Exercise BALIKATAN 2019, which this year coincided with Philippine Veterans Week, held from 5-11 April, and the Day of Valor, marked by a public holiday on 9 April.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) conducts a 112km kilometre march through Bataan on the Day of Valor.

The three Australians and 105 US military personnel were invited to participate in the commemoration of the prisoner-of-war ‘death march’.

Petty Officer Medic Samone Black, of the Submarine Underwater Medicine Unit, said she was humbled to be part of such a moving event.

“The POWs endured intense heat, as well as being subjected to harsh treatment, during the march in 1942,” Petty Officer Black said.

“Thousands of troops passed away on the way and many more died in train carts after the march, packed in so tight no one could move or sit down.

“To be able to commemorate these events alongside Philippine and US forces, as well as the greater community and share in the history of the Philippines was a real honour,” she said.