Being into World War II and respecting the history of the horrible events happened during that period of time, visiting memorials that remember of that time always interest and touch me. The Chittagong War Cemetery (also known as the Chittagong Commonwealth War Cemetery) is a cemetery for fallen soldiers during World War II from the Commonwealth countries and was my first visit to a cemetery outside of Europe and the memorials in the US. It is not as big as the American Cemetery that is in my backyard in Margraten, but that does not make it impressive as well.
The cemetery was created by the British to honor soldiers of the Commonwealth countries who fought against Japan. Most of the graves are British nationalities.
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How to get there
Coming from Chittagong you can find the cemetery within the city. It is located at No.19 Badsha Mia Chowdhury Road (see the Google Maps directions below). It is not easy to find the cemetery sight, located in the middle of a park surrounded by jungle trees around it and there is a possibility that you drive right pass it! The park is surrounded by a fence with a small sign BEHIND the fence informing about the cemetery. A lane leads you through the park towards the entrance of the cemetery.
What to see
Once you enter the metal gate you have two small brick chapels on each side of you. Within the cemetery will also be found the Chittagong Memorial which, together with the Bombay 1939-1945 War Memorial, to be found in the Indian Seamen’s Hostel Bombay, commemorates over 400 sailors of the former Indian Navy and nearly 6,000 sailors of the former Indian Merchant Navy who were lost at sea during the war years. Each memorial takes the form of a finely bound volume containing the names of the dead (source).
The sight contains 731 Commonwealth burials of whom 17 are unidentified. In the middle of the cemetery there is a big white cross with a sword worked in the sculpture which is really beautiful.
Out of those 731 burials 20 are foreign, 19 Japanese soldiers (who are put under one stone) and 1 Dutch seaman. The other burials consist of 471 British, 207 Indians, 25 Canadians, 9 Australians, and 2 from New Zealand which are known. There were originally 400 burials, but several graves got transferred from other cemeteries within Bangladesh towards the Chittagong War Cemetery.
The park is free accessible every day of the year between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM and between 14:00 PM and 17:00 PM. It is a perfect short trip to do early in the morning before heading out further in beautiful Bangladesh.
You love history? This short trip is good enough to impress you! To see some more pictures check it out here!