Encyclopedia of Labuan


The island of Labuan off the north coast of Borneo has had an interesting history since it was ceded to Britain by the Sultan of Brunei in 1846. In spite of the small British population on the island, it has been the subject of much research, especially in regards to its postal history with a vast amount of scholarship devoted to this field. The British hoped to exploit coal found on the island. There was even a plan to build the British naval base there - later constructed at Singapore. Labuan was captured by the Japanese in January 1942, and retaken by the Australians in June 1945. One of the beaches on the island was the site of the formal surrender of the Japanese, and the island is the location of the massive Labuan War Cemetery where the bodies of British Commonwealth soldiers who died in Borneo, many in prisoner of war camps or on the Sandakan Death March, are buried. The Labuan War Memorial commemorates all those who have no known grave. After World War II, Labuan became a part of the State of North Borneo, and then in 1963 a part of the Malaysian state of Sabah. In 1984 it became a federal territory with the hope of attracting major investment but although Labuan has prospered, it was not nearly as much as had been expected. Tourists still go to Labuan, especially from Brunei. This book is not only the first encyclopedia of Labuan, but is the first major work in English on the history of all aspects of the island, and it includes more than 650 illustrations, including many photographs not previously published. It also contains a complete listing of those buried in the Labuan War Cemetery or commemorated on the Labuan War Memorial.


Justin Corfield
Hardback | 864 pages
152 x 229 x 46mm | 1,311g
Publication date
13 Dec 2017
Corfield and Company
Illustrations note
650 Illustrations; Illustrations, color