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Indonesia

Ambon

 

Ambon War Cemetery  is situated  on the island  of  Ambon which  forms  part  of  the Molucca Group of  Islands.    During  the  time  of  the Japanese invasion  these  islands  were  commonly known  as  the  "Spice Islands"

Ambon  is  a  small island  and  the cemetery  is  north  of  Ambon Town   It  was   sited  on  a  former  POW  camp,  which held  prisoners of  mixed nationalities, including  British, Australian  and Dutch.

The prisoners  were  taken  to Ambon,  many  from Java,  to construct  an  airstrip,  but it was heavily bombed  by Allied Forces in 1943 and 1944.   POW's  were  buried  in  various  camps  throughout  the  island, but  were later  removed  and reburied  in  the  war  cemetery.  The remains of those buried on Haruku  were also transferred to Ambon..

But  the cemetery  also  contains  the graves of Australian  servicemen who died during  the  Japanese  invasion on Ambon  and Timor.  It  also contains  the graves  of  those  who died  within the region of  Celebes and  the Molucca  Group of  Islands.

The total  number of graves within the cemetery  is  2,137.  More  than  half  are  Australian  and  811 are British.

The  graves,  laid  out between  open  stretches  of  lawn. are  marked  with  the usual  small  square  concrete  head stones,  inlaid  with a bronze plaque.  The area  is set with  tropical flowering trees and  beautiful  scrubs  which  also  form  a boundary  around  the  cemetery.

 

Jakarta

Jakarta War Cemetery otherwise known as Djakarta War Cemetery or the local name of Makam Perang Jakarta.

The cemetery is accessed by several stone steps that lead directly into the Memorial building. Opposite the entrance is the old civilian cemetery which today takes the overflow of the local nearby market.

After the war this Commonwealth War Cemetery contained the graves of 474 servicemen. The acquisition of nearby land allowed the remains of those who had been buried at the Netherlands Field of Honour at Sourbaya, Palembang, Medan and Muntok in Sumatra to be brought to the Jakarta Cemetery, bringing the total number of graves up to 1,000, many of whom died defending Java and Sumatra against the Japanese in 1942.

The cemetery to-day consists of two main grassed paths, one north to south and the other east to west and the Cross of Sacrifice is located where these two paths cross.

The headstones, as in most other War Cemeteries, are small, tablet stones inset with bronze plaques. In common with other War Cemeteries a host of colourful native shrubs and plants can be found surrounded by sub-tropical trees.