British Garrison Cemetery (Kandy)

British Garrion Cemetery
British Garrison Cemetery (Sinhala: බ්‍රිතාන්‍ය ගැරිසන් සුසාන භූමිය) is located close to the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. It is one of the nine cemeteries maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in the country.

The Kandyan Kingdom was captured by the British in 1815. This cemetery was established by them in 1817 or 1822 and used up to 1878 till the establishment of the cemetery at Mahaiyawa (Abeyawardana, 2004; Lewis, 1913; Rajapakse, 2016). The cemetery was administered by the authorities of St. Paul's Church, Kandy (Abeyawardana, 2004).

The cemetery retains about 172 tombs of British nationals who died during the earlier period of the British occupation of Sri Lanka (Abeyawardana, 2004). Of them, the tomb of Sir John D'Oyly is considered an important monument (Abeyawardana, 2004; Lewis, 1913; Rajapakse, 2016). It is a broken fluted column of masonry with a marble tablet. The tablet reads;
In memory of the Hon'ble Sir John Doyly, Baronet, Resident of the Kandyan Provinces, and one of the members of his Majesty's Council of this Island. Whose Meritorious Services to this Government from the year 1802 and his talents during the Kandyan War stand recorded in the Archives of this Government and in the office of the Secretary of State for the Colonies.
Born June 11th, 1774.
Died at Kandy, May 25th, 1824.
Aged 49 years.
He was the second son of the Rev. Matthias Doyly, late Archdeacon of Lewes in Sussex. And this Memorial is erected by his three surviving brothers.
Citation: Lewis, 1913. p.298.
The earliest date found on a tombstone here is 2 December 1817, the date of the death of James Edwin McGlashan (Lewis, 1913). However, this tomb was found outside the cemetery and later it has been brought to the present site (Lewis, 1913).

A protected site
The Garrison Cemetery situated in Kandy Town, in the Kandy Grama Niladhari Wasama of the Gangawata Korale Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected site, declared by a government gazette notification published on 22 July 2011.

See also


1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.47-48.
2) Lewis, J. P., 1913. List of inscriptions on tombstones and monuments in Ceylon, of historical or local interest with an obituary of persons uncommemorated: Colombo. pp.295-319.
3) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp.47-48.
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1716. 22 July 2011. p.511.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 24 July 2022

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