Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Taiping War Cemetery

In three weeks' time, we'll be visiting Taiping again, to run in the inaugural King of Bukit Larut, a 21km event. As the race title goes -  the race is to run up Bukit Larut and down again. ^^

The last time we visited Taiping was in 2012; when I ran in the Taiping International Marathon.
One of the places we visited was the Taiping War Cemetery.

I guess, for those who just wanted to sightsee and take photos; the war cemetery is a letdown for them; as what can be read here at Tripadvisor :
A pity to know such attitude. Sure. It is not a fun place to visit.

But why should it be? I am glad the cemetery is beautifully maintained and the fallen soldiers are let to rest in peace in dignity instead of being turned into a cheesy tourists attraction.

However, I also hope more people would know about the fight and the sacrifices made by the soldiers fighting against the Japanese. It serves as the final resing place for Allied personnel who were killed during the Japanese Occupation in Malaya and is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

The historical information of the War Cemetery :

At the time of the Japanese invasion of Malaya, Taiping was on the British line of retreat down the west coast. Its normal garrison of one Indian Infantry Battalion had been augmented, a casualty reception station organised, arrangements made with the civilian authorities for the provision of 500 beds for military patients, and 20 Combined General Hospital (Indian Army) had been posted there. During the fighting the Indian 6th and 15th Brigades used Taiping as a rest and re-fitment centre for a few days; and, as the withdrawal southwards developed, numerous Indian Army medical units worked there for short periods before each in turn had to move towards Singapore with the fighting forces.

Taiping War Cemetery was created by the Army after the defeat of Japan for the reception of graves brought from the battlefields, from numerous temporary burial grounds, and from village and other civil cemeteries where permanent maintenance would not be possible. There are separate entrances to the two parts, the plots of Christian graves lying on the south-eastern side of the road and the Muslim and Gurkha graves on the opposite side. 

In the Muslim and Gurkha section the Stone of Remembrance stands in front of a high bank which forms the north-western boundary. The two small shelters in the cemetery have been constructed of local stone, and a low stone wall flanks the road on each side. There are now over 850, 1939-1945 war casualties commemorated in this site, more than 500 of whom are unidentified.

No. of Identified Casualties: 332

To me, it is really sad to be standing outside the fenced area of the cemetery and reading the names and age of the soldiers. So many of them died too young. Some were in their teens. 

The road up to Bukit Larut (which we runners will be running up come Apr 20th in the King of Bukit Larut race) was built by prisoners of war during the Japanese occupation in the Second World War, you know.

Anyway, for those who doesn't know... Taiping means "Everlasting peace" which was ironic because it was a result after British intervention against the bloody feud between two rival Chinese secret societies, the Hai San and Ghee Hin, over rights to rich tin deposits. Kelian Pauh was renamed Thai-peng. Quite an optimistic name and I guess it worked because judging from what my friends living there have to say, Taiping is a really peaceful place to spend time in.

There are many places that we have yet fully explored the last time we were in Taiping. Hopefully we get to see more when we get there!

28 comments:

  1. Share with us more about the run after the run ya, hehe...

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  2. Well said, Lina. Sometimes, we can't control people. They do whatever they like. Just ignore it and enjoy your trip here, later.

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    1. The post is not about ignoring, Angeline. Rather I'd like to share & educate ourselves about a piece of our history.

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    2. That person wrote "dissapointing" ??

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  3. I worked with a bridal shop before as a part timer. So this bridal shop did brought couples over there for some photo shooting. I found it very nice lar the cemetery here. Of course the camera man always suggest to the couples whether they agree to go there to take photos. Since some couples are very open minded, no pantang larang at all.. The result from the photos are great actually.

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  4. Sometimes people just say whatever in their mind, never filter it!!! =[

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  5. good morning good morning Mak Glam!! it's Wetnessday today, hope it will rain very very heavily in the afternoon later, so that all our rivers and dams will be flooded with an abundant of water, and hence the water rationing will be aborted immediately!!

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  6. i've never been to Taiping lah, only passed by and i remember crossing a very big lake along the highway.. so Mak Glam is going to take a red-eye train to Taiping like what you have been thinking?? or is it that Pak Kura-kura will be happily driving the family all the way there?? arrive there just in time for the race to start, haha, nice experience huh?? :)

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    Replies
    1. We're driving to Taiping lah.

      It's Kuala Kangsar that we are considering taking a night train :-)

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    2. oopsss, i mistaken terbalik pulak.. :p

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  7. Last time we went Taiping was a "refugee trip" ....singgah and run...LOL

    Didn't go many places

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  8. These place depends on each persons "minat". If they doesn't like going scenic places even if you give them Empress Cixi Summer palace garden they will give low rating punya

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  9. all those Memorial and museum will makes them sleepy punya.

    But overseas punya best leh. There are many visitors go there visit and then spend day picnic there.

    Malaysia...think maybe the most visited maybe Tugu Negara only la... but then what do I know...just a katak bawah tempurung. :p

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    Replies
    1. To me, if no interest then don't go lor...

      Don't kutuk the place.

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  10. I feel like visiting Taiping! Especially the Taiping Lake Gardens!

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    1. The Lake Garden is sure nice :)

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  11. It's cool to visit cemeteries, except Chinese cemeteries which is horrifying. LOL! Still remember visiting one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Manila back in 2011.

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  12. Oh now only I know Taiping means everlasting peace! :)

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  13. This war cemetery is well known for couples, haha! Many will go there 'dating' at night, believe it or not!

    Hope you'll enjoy your stay in Taiping! It's quite different now, compared to 2012 ;)

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  14. Wahh, so nice reading something from your 'bout my town ..hihi.
    Anyway, what did they expect to see at this cemetery to be touristy enough? ghost?
    All I know is, it's a beautiful place to pass by while running at taman tasik, really serene and peaceful.

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    Replies
    1. Cari idea utk satu lagi pre-KOBL pulak. Hihihi

      Seyes, suka lari kat Taiping n it was your posts yg membawa I ke Taiping dulu :-)

      Yeah.. kubur tu.
      Acaner lagi nak buat? Nama pun kubur. Haih..

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  15. Haih dah lama nak pegi Taiping tapi tak pernah nak pegi betul2. Must make time for it & visit the zoo also, which I heard is good.

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    Replies
    1. Jom jom...

      Eh... bila nak jom ni? Hihi

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  16. I wanted to laugh at the Tripadvisor's comments. What do they expect from a war cemetery? If they want to see colourful and interesting ones, then visit those Chinese cemeteries in East Malaysia and the Western Road's Christian Cemetery in Penang which has nice status all over.

    I see that the world famous Alrlington's War Memorial Cemetery at Virginia in USA has similar looks with rows neat of square tombs. I guess the visitors expected some mini museum there.

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