War Cemetery in Taiping, Perak
high-definition creative commons photographs from one of the main war cemeteries in Perak, Malaysia, which has some memorable epitaphs, together with some further information and a video introduction.
The Taiping War Cemetery
The Taiping War Cemetery (Malay: Tanah Perkuburan Perang Taiping) is the final resting place for Allied personnel who were killed during World War II in the Malayan Campaign and during the Japanese occupation of Malaya. Servicemen who died after the war or during their posting in northern Malaya prior to the Malayan Emergency are also interred here.
The cemetery is located in Bukit Larut, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia and was erected and is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. There are more than 850 World War II casualties commemorated in this cemetery, including more than 500 who remain unidentified.
Taiping was on the British line of retreat during the Japanese invasion of Malaya along the West Coast of the peninsular. Normally hosting a garrison of one Indian Army infantry battalion, the forces in Taiping had been augmented with a casualty receiving station set up and the Indian 20th Combined General Hospital had been posted there.
The town was also used as a rest and refitting centre for the 6th and 15th Indian Infantry Brigade during the ongoing battles in northern Malaya with numerous medical units being stationed there before retreating towards Singapore.
After the surrender of Japan and the ending of World War II, the task of identifying the British and Commonwealth war dead in the area was assigned to Major J. H. Ingram who led a War Graves Registration Unit. He designed and supervised the erection of the cemetery for the reception of graves brought from the battlefields, from numerous temporary burial grounds, and from village and other civil cemeteries where permanent maintenance would not be possible.
The cemetery is divided into two parts with Christian graves located on the southeastern side of the road while non-Christian graves being located on the opposite side. On the Christian section, a Cross of Sacrifice stands on the southeastern boundary while on the non-Christian section, a Stone of Remembrance stands on the northwestern boundary.
A stone dwarf wall flanks both sides of Jalan Bukit Larut, a road which forms the boundary between the Christian and non-Christian sections of the cemetery. The graves are marked with an upright white granite headstone depicting the deceased's regimental insignia, if known. Muslim graves are aligned facing Mecca as required by their religious convictions.
Text adapted from Wikipedia (retrieved, March 24th 2012)
A Short History of Taiping War Cemetery, Malaysia by the War Graves Commission
Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu