Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Independent MP's Family Traumatised by the Lies

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Independent MP's Family Traumatised by the Lies

Article excerpt

Byline: Alex Easton Alex.Easton@northernstar.com.au

HE MIGHT now be one of Australia's most powerful men, but a few years ago Federal Lyne Independent MP Rob Oakeshott was just one of thousands of Australians who had been fed a fiction about the wartime death of a relative.

It was only 15 years ago that Mr Oakeshott, one of three independents bearing the heavy task of deciding who will form Australia's next government, and his family learned they were lied to when they were told his grandfather had died during the war of dysentery.

The truth was that Captain John Bernard Oakeshott was murdered by Japanese soldiers about two weeks after Japan announced it was surrendering unconditionally to the Allies.

Despite the efforts of the handful of survivors of the Sandakan death camp and of the Sandakan death marches, the Oakeshotts and many other families of the more than 1700 Australians killed, knew nothing of the truth of the death camp.

Mr Oakeshott said Capt Oakeshott's wife went to her grave believing he had died of illness, never knowing of the horrors he had endured. …

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