Many of the prisoners of war who suffered starvation, sickness, beatings or executions on the Sandakan death marches in the last year of the WWII came from the Northern Rivers.
The men were part of the 2/18 battalion, 8th division.
Dr Kevin Smith OAM has written a book Stories from Sandakan that gives an account of the 2/18th's experiences during training, garrison duties in Malaya, intensive and bloody action in Malaya and on Singapore Island. He will be the guest speaker at next Tuesday's U3A (University of the Third Age) gathering.
Of the 174 men of the battalion who were sent as PoWs from Changi to Sandakan in Borneo, only 17 came home. And of those who were sent on the infamous death marches - 260km through treacherous terrain from Sandakan to the inland town of Ranau - only six survived the war.
Dr Smith said in his presentation he would talk of the men from Lismore and district who were sent to Sandakan.
"Men like Snowy Bryant, Les Kelly and Charles Stevens from South Lismore, Laurie Daly from Fernleigh, Harry Freame from Ballina and George Funnell from The Channon - there were up to 50 from the Lismore district and I've traced the fate of many of those sent to Sandakan, putting them in chronological order of what happened to them... Their stories show the terrible loss of men, and something of their courage," he said.
He hopes that any of their descendents still living in the region can come along.
The Tuesdays with U3A Northern Rivers meetings are open to the public. There's been a change of venue - it is now held at the Lismore Workers Club each Tuesday in term time from 2-4pm. For information about U3A-NR courses and activities phone (local number) 5615 0515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.