Yokohama War Cemetery
The war cemetery is about six miles south of Yokohama in Yuenchi Park in Hodogaya. The cemetery was constructed in 1945 by the Australian War Graves Group and is the only Commonwealth war cemetery in Japan. Unusually for a Commission war cemetery, it comprises four main separate sections, commemorating the dead from the United Kingdom; Australia; Canada and New Zealand; and India. A granite Cross of Sacrifice stands in each of the first three sections. A specially designed monument, in the form of a four-faced pylon, stands in the Indian section. On two faces is inscribed 'Indian Forces 1939-1945'; 'India' is on one face and 'Pakistan' on the other. In a niche on the north wall of this section are commemorated 20 Indians who died while serving with the occupation forces in Japan, for whom no burial or cremation information exists.
Commonwealth and Netherlands prisoners-of-war captured in the Pacific region disembarked near here to undergo captivity in Japan. Nearly all who died were cremated and after the war their remains were collected from camps and burial sites and buried in the war cemetery. The graves are marked by semi-recumbent bronze plaques. Deaths were from many causes, especially from pneumonia in the severe winters and, towards the end of the war, from Allied naval bombardment and air bombing of the dockyards and places where the prisoners worked.
The ashes recovered from two of the camps in the prisoner of war centre at Fukuoka were placed in two large urns. One of these is housed in a shrine in the United Kingdom section; the other, which contains the ashes of more Americans than of other countries, is in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St Louis, USA. The names of those whose ashes are known to be in the Yokohama urn are inscribed on the walls of the shrine, known as the Yokohama Cremation Memorial; they include over 200 British, (more than half from the Royal Artillery), 50 Americans and 20 Netherlanders.
The numbers of burials in the cemetery are 1,000 (excluding the 200 mentioned above) British, 140 Canadian, 280 Australian, 15 each from New Zealand and India, and over 40 from Hong Kong.
|The text on this page has been taken from Courage Remembered, by Kingsley Ward and Major Edwin Gibson.|