Part 1 of a day at the Cemeteries
The Kranji War Cemetery is the final resting place for 4,458 men and women who came from all around the globe, from Malaya to United Kingdom to Australia, many of whom were allied military soldiers who fought bravely against the invading Japanese armies during World War 2. Almost all died in the midst of defending and protecting this tiny country that we call home. First unveiled to the public in 1946, the Kranji War Memorial was erected to pay tribute to those fallen soldiers and their loved ones. Located on top of a hill, this site is relatively untouched by urbanization and is a true reflection of pure serenity and peacefulness.
The Cemetery is now under the immaculate care and maintenance of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The graves are all so uniformed as the Commission states that “all headstones should be uniform and there should be no distinction made on account of military or civil rank, race or creed”.
Inscriptions on the tombstones
It might sound like a morbid fascination but I personally find inscriptions on tombstones to be very intriguing. Death is inevitable; no one will ever escape from the claws of death but the one thing that will always remain etched in the hearts of our loved ones will be the memories. As such, many feel the need to write a thoughtful and expressive epitaph or inscription that reflects well of the deceased – some are religious, some are personal and some are, well, funny. It is “a long-lasting symbol of remembrance for a person who has passed away” and a record that stand the test of time.
Here are some inscriptions that had caught my eye:
Lorraine Elizabeth Kavanagh
Born 22nd July 1966
Died 22nd July 1966
They died for all free men
On the outskirts of the Kranji War Memorial lies the burial site of Singapore’s first two Presidents – Inche Yusuf bin Ishak and Benjamin Henry Sheares.