Taiping War Cemetery, Taiping, Perak
Developed and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Taiping War Cemetery is located in the city of Taiping, north of the capital Kuala Lumpur. When Japan invaded Malaya in 1941, Taiping was on the British line of retreat. Accordingly, the one Indian Infantry Battalion that was stationed at Taiping was expanded, a casualty reception station established and the 20th Combined General Hospital was posted there. As the fighting continued and the Japanese moved further south, various brigades used Taiping as a resting location before being sent back to the frontline. Eventually the Japanese overtook Taiping and the Allied troops were forced to retreat to Singapore.
At the conclusion of the war, Major J.H. Ingram was instructed with the task of erecting the Taiping War Cemetery. With the work of local indigenous people, the temporary graves of Commonwealth servicemen were retrieved from various battlefields and smaller cemeteries and buried at the Taiping site. Split into two sections, with two separate entrances, the Christian graves are located on the eastern side of the cemetery while the Muslim and Gurkha graves are located on the western side. On the Christian side a large cross of sacrifice stands on the southeastern boundary, whereas in the Muslim and Gurkha section, a large stone of remembrance has been placed on the northwestern boundary. Each burial site is marked with a white granite headstone and where known, the name of the soldier and their regimental insignia. The Muslim graves are faced towards Mecca as required by their religious beliefs.
In total there are 850 World War II graves at the Taiping War Cemetery, with most of those buried originating from the UK, Australia, China, Malaysia and of Gurkha heritage. At least 500 of these men have unknown identities, their graves simply marked with the words ‘Soldier of the 1939-1945 War’.