WWII casualty receives personal commemoration in Myanmar 68 years on
03 February 2015
A medic who died in Myanmar (Burma) during the Second World War
has received fitting commemoration at his Mawlamyine (Moulmein)
grave - 68 years after his death - following intervention from the
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The CWGC has installed a personalised pedestal marker at the
grave of Private Rupert Mellican, who is buried with relatives at a
family vault at Mawlamyine St Patricks Roman Catholic Cemetery.
Mellican, who served with the British Royal Army Medical Corps,
could not be commemorated at the time of his burial due to a
shortage of stonemasons in the country during the war.
Until now, he had only been commemorated by name on the Taukkyan
Memorial at the war cemetery in the city.
The CWGC will now ensure the grave is maintained and looked
after in perpetuity, along with those of the other 1.7million
Commonwealth servicemen and women in its care.
This is the first time "alternative commemoration" has been
reversed in Myanmar since democratic reforms occurred in 2011-2012.
The CWGC always look to commemorate world war casualties where they
fell, or where their remains are, where possible.
CWGC Myanmar Manager Thet Mon said: "It is deeply rewarding that
our efforts to commemorate this brave serviceman at his grave have
reached fruition. The grave will be regularly inspected and cared
for and will ensure his sacrifice, and those of other Commonwealth
servicemen and women in Myanmar, is never forgotten."
In Burma and Thailand it is possible to visit the graves and
memorials commemorating the lives of 10,000 British, Dutch,
Australian and New Zealand soldiers held prisoner by the Japanese
during the Second World War.
Digital artefacts and stories of the prisoners-of-war who died
building the Thai-Burma railway for the Japanese are now made
available by the CWGC to smartphones users at war cemeteries in the
Burmese city of Thanbyuzayat and the Thai cities of Kanchanaburi
Click here for the
full media release.