Kanchanaburi - War Cemeteries
Kanchanaburi actually has three war cemeteries, Don Rak War Cemetery and two sites of Chong-Kai Cemetery. About 8,000 English, Australian and Dutch who died or were killed during construction of the Death Railway are buried there.
Don Rak War Cemetery has nearly 7,000 graves and the two burial sites at Chong-Kai Cemetery have another 1,700.
It should also be noted that about 50,000 Malay, Chinese, Tamil, Burmese and Thai forced laborers also died during the construction of the railway.
Kanchanaburi Don Rak War Cemetery
Opposite Kanchanaburi’s Railway Station and next to Thai-Chinese cemetery on Sang Chuto Road. This nicely maintained site is worth a visit, especially if you are in Thailand of Remembrance Day. It is a solemn and moving occasion attended by visitors as well as expats living in Thailand. Of the 6,982 graves in the Don Rak War Cemetery, more than 3,500 are British. Another 1,300 are Australian and 1,896 Dutch prisoners of war are buried here. Some 356 Americans who died during the ordeal were repatriated to the United States. (Unfortunately, we have not been able to determine how many Canadians died.)
Two graves hold the cremated remains of 300 prisoners who died from a cholera outbreak in 1943 at their Nieke prison camp. A bronze plaque over each grave bears the inscription "HERE ARE BURIED THE ASHES OF THE 300 SOLDIERS WHOSE NAMES ARE INSCRIBED IN THE MEMORIAL BUILDING IN THIS CEMETERY."
Kanchanaburi Chong Kai Cemetery
Is about 2 km south of Kanchanaburi on the bank of the Kwai Noi River. It has the remains of 1,740 souls. Somewhere around 1,379 British, 313 Dutch, 42 Malay and 6 Indian. This cemetery was the original burial ground and .started by the prisoners. It is located at the site of a base camp, hospital and church.
Most of the casualties buried in this cemetery are men who died in the hospital nearby.