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059358

Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain,
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number 059358
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white
Place made Australia
Date made c 21 January 1942
Physical description Black & white

Description

STUDIO PORTRAIT OF CAPTAIN (CAPT) LIONEL COLIN MATTHEWS GC MC, 8TH AUSTRALIAN DIVISION SIGNALS. CAPT MATTHEWS WAS PROMOTED TO CAPTAIN ON 21 JANUARY 1942 AND WAS TAKEN POW ON 15 FEBRUARY 1942. CAPT MATTHEWS WAS POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED THE GEORGE CROSS (GC) FOR GALLANT DISTINGUISHED SERVICES WHILST A PRISONER OF WAR (POW) OF THE JAPANESE AT SANDAKAN, BRITISH NORTH BORNEO BETWEEN 1942-08 AND 1944-03. DURING THIS PERIOD HE DIRECTED AN UNDERGROUND INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION AND ARRANGED DELIVERY OF SORELY NEEDED MEDICAL SUPPLIES, FOOD AND MONEY TO THE POWS. HE WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN ARRANGING A RADIO LINK WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD AND WAS ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR ORGANISING THE BRITISH NORTH BORNEO CONSTABULARY AND THE LOYAL NATIVES IN SANDAKAN INTO READINESS FOR AN ARMED UPRISING AGAINST THE JAPANESE. HE ALSO SUCCESSFULLY ORGANISED ESCAPE PARTIES. ARRESTED BY THE KENPEITAI HE WAS SUBJECTED TO BRUTAL TREATMENT AND STARVATION BUT STEADFASTLY REFUSED TO IMPLICATE HIS ASSOCIATES. HE WAS TRIED BY A MILITARY COURT AND EXECUTED BY THE JAPANESE AT KUCHING, 1944-03-02. HE CONTINUED TO DEFY THE JAPANESE UP UNTIL HIS DEATH. HE WAS AWARDED THE MILITARY CROSS (MC) FOR OUTSTANDING CONDUCT DURING OPERATIONS IN MALAYA.