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WWII Graves Memorial Stone

Sarawak Tourism Federation
January 21, 2021

Late last year after a few enquiries following All Souls Day, we are happy to rediscover the old WWII Graves Memorial Stone in the midst of covid pandemic at the St Thomas's Anglican Cemetery here. It was inscribed among others "On Memory of Allied POW dedicated Easter Day 1943".

Interestingly Bishop Howe book - "On A Fair Ground" recorded that "up to July 1943, the dead (POW) were buried in the Anglican or Roman Catholic Cemetery in Kuching". This is Dr. Kevin Smith reflected in his book "Borneo Australia Proud Heritage", recorded  that Captain Mathew (George Cross) executed in 1943 that "his body was taken for burial at the cemetery (As above).

Nevertheless, we managed to have fruitful discussion with the Anglican Church to restore and preserve this Memorial Stone Marker with possible sponsorship etc as the Anglican Church is the oldest mission established in 1848 with many heritage graves.

After the war in 1946, all the POW graves (except local) were exhumed and interned at the Commonwealth War Graves at Labuan. We have thus written to Australian War Graves Department to request for their achieved historical record and old photos (1946) of (a) this Memorial Stone Marker and (b) the original graves of the WWII Heroes Captain Mathew, to further enhance our joint ANZAC Student Exchange Heritage Education programmes and WWII Heritage collaboration.