Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Commonwealth War Cemetery (Borella)

Borella Commonwealth War Cemetery
Borella Commonwealth War Cemetery (Sinhala: බොරැල්ල පොදුරාජ්‍ය මණ්ඩලීය යුද සුසාන භූමිය) is a part of the Borella Burial Ground (or Kanatte Cemetery) situated in Borella in Colombo District, Sri Lanka. It has been established to honour the Commonwealth servicemen who died during World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945).

Sri Lanka in World Wars
Sri Lanka in the First World War
World War I centred in Europe began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, as a part of the British Empire, offered the service of approximately 2000 volunteers from the Ceylon Defence Force, and 442 among them did not survive. Their names are presently found recorded in the Cenotaph War Memorial in the Colombo Public Library premises. The closest fighting to Sri Lanka took place in the Bay of Bengal, where an Australian warship sank a German cruiser.

Sri Lanka in the Second World War
World War II was begun on 1 September 1939 and lasted till 2 September 1945. The two naval bases in Colombo and Trincomalee in Sri Lanka were attacked by Japan after the fall of Singapore and the Netherlands East Indies. The port at Colombo was bombed by them on 5 April 1942 while the port at Trincomalee was attacked on 9 April the same year. The destroyer Tenedos (under refitting) and the armed merchant cruiser Hector (under repair) that were in Colombo harbour were sunk and the quays and workshops there were damaged by the attackers. Also, the carrier Hermes, the destroyer Vampire, the corvette Hollyhock, a tanker and a fleet auxiliary were sunk off the Trincomalee coast.

War graves in Sri Lanka
There are over 2,000 World War burials in Sri Lanka. They include those who were killed in the attacks of April 1942, garrison deaths and casualties from formations which underwent jungle warfare training on the island before proceeding to Burma (present Myanmar).

Borella War Graves
The cemetery contains a Commonwealth War Graves Plot and a number of additional war graves dispersed around the site. It has been established to honour the Commonwealth servicemen who died during World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945). Presently, there are over 60 (WWI) and nearly 300 (WWII) tombstones at the site. Of them, 4 casualties of WWII have not been identified.

See also

Attribution
1) 20151005_114059 by Damitha K Tennakoon is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Location Map
This page was last updated on 26 July 2022

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