One of the six Commonwealth War Cemeteries of Sri Lanka is located in Kandy and often referred to as Kandy War Cemetery. This beautiful but melancholic site is the final resting place of those who died defending this country during the Second World War. It is located near the Mahaweli riverside and was formerly known as Pitakande Military Cemetery, before the charge of its maintenance was taken over by Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It is said that this burial ground is one of the most beautifully landscaped and maintained ones in the world.
During World War II
Having a strategic position in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka or Ceylon as it was then known, had an important naval and airbase set up here. It was also the site of jungle warfare training center, a hospital and a leave center. When the military headquarters were shifted from Burma to Ceylon, Kandy played a vital role during and after that time.
Graves and Memorials
This cemetery has 201 graves of those who dies in war, belonging to different nationalities. Amongst them, 107 are Britons, 35 East Africans, 26 Sri Lankans, 23 Indians 6 Canadians, 3 Italians and 1 Frenchman. In 1973, a memorial was erected here bearing the names of 28 Italian war prisoners who died here during the WW2 years.
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