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Casualty Record Detail
Casualty Record Detail
Casualty Record Detail
HARAR WAR CEMETERY Print this image

Identified Casualties:

Location Information

The cemetery is off the Dire Dawa - Harar road, and is approached via a winding series of medieval alleys.

Visiting Information

Harar War Cemetery is open every day between 06:00 and 18:00.

Historical Information

When Italy entered the war in June 1940, Ethiopia, which had been part of the Italian East African empire since 1936, became a threat to British positions in Egypt and the link by sea to the Far East and Australasia.

Commonwealth forces took up defensive positions on Ethiopia's borders with Sudan to the west and Kenya to the south, and in mid-December 1940, after initial skirmishes with the Italians, the first of a series of offensives was launched from Kenya. A strike east into Italian Somaliland secured the coastal port of Mogadishu in February 1941 which made possible an advance into the heart of Ethiopia. Within a month Harar had been taken and Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, was captured early in April, allowing the deposed Emperor Heile Selassie to return in May.

Diminished Italian forces continued to withdraw north and the East African campaign in Ethiopia was not concluded until the end of November 1941 with the surrender of the last concentration of Italian forces at Gondar.

Harar War Cemetery contains 45 burials and commemorations of the Second World War. The graves of 40 casualties could not be precisely located in the cemetery and these men are commemorated by special memorial marked "Buried near this spot". There are also special memorials to eight casualties buried in the adjacent civil cemetery whose graves are now lost.