North Borneo War Monument

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North Borneo War Monument
Tugu Peringatan Perang Borneo Utara
KotaKinabalu Sabah NorthBorneoWarMemorial-05.jpg
Coordinates 5°58′54″N116°01′04″E / 5.9816656°N 116.017773°E / 5.9816656; 116.017773 Coordinates: 5°58′54″N116°01′04″E / 5.9816656°N 116.017773°E / 5.9816656; 116.017773
Location Kota Kinabalu
Type Obelisk
Material Stone
Dedicated to Those fallen British soldiers during World War I and Australian soldiers during World War II

The North Borneo War Monument (Malay : Tugu Peringatan Perang Borneo Utara) is a monument that was erected on 8 May 1923 by the North Borneo Chartered Company in Bond Street, Jesselton, British North Borneo. Originally, it was a memorial for the fallen British soldiers during the World War I but later extended to include the Australian soldiers in World War II. The monument stands today in the city park of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the Malaysian state of Sabah.

Malay language Austronesian language

Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family spoken in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. A language of the Malays, it is spoken by 290 million people across the Strait of Malacca, including the coasts of the Malay Peninsula of Malaysia and the eastern coast of Sumatra in Indonesia and has been established as a native language of part of western coastal Sarawak and West Kalimantan in Borneo. It is also used as a trading language in the southern Philippines, including the southern parts of the Zamboanga Peninsula, the Sulu Archipelago and the southern predominantly Muslim-inhabited municipalities of Bataraza and Balabac in Palawan.

Monument type of structure either explicitly created to commemorate a person or important event, or used for that purpose

A monument is a type of—usually three-dimensional—structure that was explicitly created to commemorate a person or event, or which has become relevant to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage, due to its artistic, historical, political, technical or architectural importance. Examples of monuments include statues, (war) memorials, historical buildings, archaeological sites, and cultural assets. If there is a public interest in its preservation, a monument can for example be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.



Inauguration of the monument on 8 May 1923 KotaKinabalu Sabah NorthBorneoWarMemorial-1923-01.png
Inauguration of the monument on 8 May 1923

The monument was originally erected in Bond Street (now Gaya Street). Due to the shifting of the KK City Park in the 1970s, the monument had undergone changes in form and height. In addition, the bronze plaque on the obelisk and a plaque at the site of previous gun were extended.

Original shape

The monument originally consisted of an approximately 2.5-metre-high (8.2 ft) obelisk of granite and a cannon that were placed each on their own narrow rectangular base with semicircular ends. Both bases were mounted on a second common base.

An obelisk is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape or pyramidion at the top. These were originally called tekhenu by their builders, the Ancient Egyptians. The Greeks who saw them used the Greek term 'obeliskos' to describe them, and this word passed into Latin and ultimately English. Ancient obelisks are monolithic; that is, they consist of a single stone. Most modern obelisks are made of several stones; some, like the Washington Monument, are buildings.

Granite A common type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock with granular structure

Granite is a common type of felsic intrusive igneous rock that is granular and phaneritic in texture. Granites can be predominantly white, pink, or gray in color, depending on their mineralogy. The word "granite" comes from the Latin granum, a grain, in reference to the coarse-grained structure of such a holocrystalline rock. Strictly speaking, granite is an igneous rock with between 20% and 60% quartz by volume, and at least 35% of the total feldspar consisting of alkali feldspar, although commonly the term "granite" is used to refer to a wider range of coarse-grained igneous rocks containing quartz and feldspar.

Today's form

The shape of the obelisk was not changed, but the original unit of the base plate is no longer given. The canon base was placed about 3 metres from the obelisk, but without a gun. There is now a plaque instead of the gun.

Original inscription

Marble plaque with the names of the 13 fallen British soldiers in World War I KotaKinabalu Sabah NorthBorneoWarMemorial-01.jpg
Marble plaque with the names of the 13 fallen British soldiers in World War I
The monument in 1923 KotaKinabalu Sabah NorthBorneoWarMemorial-1923-02.JPG
The monument in 1923

The original decoration included a carved in the stone relief in the form of a laurel wreath with the inscription, To The Glorious Dead 1914–1918 [note 1] and a marble slab in the second pyramid stone. The marble plaque lists the names of 13 fallen of the First World War to:

M.T. Buckley
A. Craigh
H.W. Chalmers
F.H. Davies
S.J. Gooding
H.S.H.H. Hall
A.M. Kennedy
B.D.R. Sherbrooke
E.N. Savage
R.R.M. Tabutea
N. Thomson
H.M. Woolley


On the opposite side of the marble slab (west) was a bronze plaque mounted with the following inscription:

In Memory Of Those Men
– of –
Who Gave Their Lives In the Defence Of
During The Second World War 1939–1945

Presented By
The Returned Services League
Of Australia

The identical text is in gold lettering on a black plate on the earlier cannon base.

On the north side of the obelisk is a memorial plaque to the victims during the time which was Confrontation attached.

Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation military conflict (1963–1966)

The Indonesian–Malaysian confrontation or Borneo confrontation was a violent conflict from 1963–66 that stemmed from Indonesia's opposition to the creation of Malaysia. The creation of Malaysia was the amalgamation of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore and the crown colony/British protectorates of North Borneo and Sarawak in September 1963. Important precursors to the conflict included Indonesia's policy of confrontation against Netherlands New Guinea from March–August 1962 and the Brunei Revolt in December 1962.


As of 8 May 1923 by 10 o'clock in the morning, the ceremony of the inauguration of the monument was held by Major-general Sir Neill Malcolm. The presence of HMS Hawkins and a guard of honour, consisting the members of the Royal Navy, veterans of the First World War and the British North Borneo Armed Constabulary gave the event a military context. Among the guests were the Governor Sir William Rycroft, Admiral Arthur Leveson, the Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak and Ms Stotter. [1] Bishop Danson dedicated the obelisk and made a speech of greetings on behalf from the representatives of the Catholics, Muslims and Sikhs, along with the speech from Sir Neill Malcolm. [2]

Major-General Sir Neill Malcolm, KCB, DSO was a British Army officer who served as Chief of Staff to Fifth Army in the First World War and later commanded the Troops in the Straits Settlements.

Royal Navy Maritime warfare branch of the United Kingdoms military

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.

As a remembering to the former site of the monument in Bond Street, There was an exhibition been held in 2012, with the theme "Bonding with Gaya Street (BGS)". [3]

Perhaps due to the establishment of the De Fontaine Memorial in 1912, the shape of the North Borneo War Memorial was very similar with it.

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  1. "B. N. B. War Memorial." The Straits Times . National Library of Singapore. 10 April 1923. p. 10. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  2. "Borneo's War Memorial". The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884-1942). National Library of Singapore. 9 May 1923. p. 7. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  3. "Bonding with Gaya Street". Arkitrek. 22 January 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2014.


  1. Translation: The Glorious Dead 1914–1918.