Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Kanchanaburi
Designed by Colin St Clair Oakes, the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery is the final resting place for almost 7,000 casualties of the Second World War, including 5,086 Commonwealth graves and 1,896 Dutch graves. Maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the cemetery lies on the grounds of what was originally the main intake camp for prisoners sent to work on the Thai-Burma Railway. It is thought that almost 50% of those who were imprisoned to work on the railway died throughout the process, with historians calculating that at least 38 Allied Prisoners of War died for each kilometer of railway track. For those who died whilst working on the railway line, temporary graves were allocated and markers left for possible identification later.
At the conclusion of the war, those graves found between the southern section of the railway between Bangkok and Nieke were transferred to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery (except for the American soldiers whose remains were repatriated). Due to the tropical climate, headstones were not placed at each gravesite. Instead a bronze plaque that features the name, age and regiment of the soldier (when known) has been engraved and fitted to each burial place. At one end of the cemetery, two graves contain the ashes of 300 prisoners who were cremated at Nieke Camp in 1943 in an attempt to stop the spread of a Cholera outbreak. Finally, within the entrance building to the cemetery stands the Kanchanaburi Memorial, listing the names of 11 men from the army of the undivided India who were buried in Muslim cemeteries throughout Thailand but whose graves could not be maintained.