Mick and Deb JENNER and Tony and Jo VAN RHODA visited the Taukkyan War Cemetery in Myanmar (Formally Burma) about 35 kilometers from Yangon (Formally Rangoon). We were surprised how beautifully the cemetery was being maintained. The Taukkyan War Cemetery is the largest of the three war cemeteries in Myanmar, It was started in 1951 to consolidate the graves from four remote battlefield cemeteries, all of which were extremely difficult to access for friends and relatives. The different battlefield cemeteries have been kept distinct within the grounds of the Taukkyan site.
Numerous other bodies were retrieved from smaller remote jungle sites and also brought here, but the continuing conflict in Burma after the war delayed the work of the Army Graves Service. More graves are still being found, but so far the cemetery contains 6,374 bodies of Commonwealth soldiers. Of these 867 are unidentified. The central pillars are the Rangoon Memorial, bearing the names of 27,000 men who died during the campaigns in Burma and whose body was never retrieved, along with the inscription “they died for all free men”.
We all agreed our visit to the Taukkyan War Cemetery was one of the highlights of our holiday in Malaysia and Myanmar and well worth the visit, though hard to access as Myanmar which is a poor country is only just opening up to tourism and not yet up to the standard we are used to like those found in more affluent Asian countries. It was a visit Mick and I had planned to do for a long time.
Flowers and photos of one of a still missing in action serviceman left by relatives who recently visited the memorial, it is seeing the young face and the not knowing what happened that makes you feel sad.