Personal stories of those who fought and died in South-East Asia during the world wars to be shared by CWGC
03 October 2014
Fresh insights into the people who fought and died in South-East
Asia during the two world wars are being revealed with the
unveiling of interactive visitor information panels in Kranji,
Singapore (October 3) and Kanchanaburi, Thailand (October 8).
Digital artefacts and stories of the prisoners-of-war who died
building the Thai-Burma railway for the Japanese - after being
captured in Singapore - will be made available by the Commonwealth
War Graves Commission (CWGC) to smartphones users at the two
Visitors can use their phones to scan a code that navigates to a
website revealing the backstories of those who died from sickness,
malnutrition and exhaustion in the process of building the
notorious Thai-Burma railway.
One example is that of Captain Oliver Bellingham-Smith, a former
racing car mechanic who died serving with the Federated Malay
States Volunteer Force in the Second World War, having emigrated to
South East Asia from Europe in the 1920s.
here to learn more about Bellingham-Smith via the microsite that
will be accessed by those using the interactive panels at CWGC
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.
The panel unveilings in Kanchanaburi and at CWGC Kranji War
Cemetery will be made by CWGC Vice Chairman Sir Joe French. A third
panel is also being installed at Chungkai War Cemetery, Chungkai,
Thailand this month.
In Thailand - and Burma - 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.
Barry Murphy, CWGC Director, Africa and Asia Pacific Area, said:
"The CWGC is pleased to be able to preserve the memory of the
Commonwealth servicemen who lost their lives in South East Asia
during both wars through the installation of interactive visitors
panels. We hope those visiting either the River Kwai or the
business hub that is Singapore will be able to visit the nearby
cemeteries to pay their respects and learn more about the
protagonists of the conflicts."
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