16 February 2017

CWGC cemetery manager features in Singapore 75th anniversary video

For Kannaya Somu being a CWGC cemetery manager is “more than a job” and now he’s proved it by becoming part of an online series about people who are passionate about their work.


Mr Somu is the subject of a Yahoo news feature, entitled More Than A Job – Guardian of the War Dead, in which he explains why he cares about his role at the CWGC Kranji War Cemetery.

 “Although I have not seen war… today I have the honour to serve the heroes that fought for our country and that’s the least that I could do,” says Mr Somu in the video.

“To me, the most important thing they [visitors] must know about their visits here is that… they must know that today we are living, today we are walking around and talking, we are surviving, it’s because of the heroes who have fought for us. If not for them, today, you and me wouldn’t be here.”

The feature is part of commemorations surrounding the 75th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore and is now online at the following link:


Three young journalists spent the day at Kranji last month learning about the work that goes into managing and maintaining one of the commission’s biggest sites in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr Somu joined the CWGC in July 2006 after a distinguished career serving for 32 years in the Singapore Armed Forces.

He lives on site with his wife and three sons and says he is excited to show his children his video story.

“It was a great experience and was nice to show the young journalists around,” said Mr Somu.

“I find this job very interesting and very challenging. I served as a logistician in the Singapore Armed Forces so it is perfect for me. I am also very interested in horticulture so I love the gardening side to the job.”

Among the VIPs Mr Somu has shown around Kranji are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Governor General of Australia and various Commonwealth prime ministers and foreign ministers.

The Kranji War Cemetery is one of the most important and evocative landmarks on the island of Singapore and contains 4,500 Commonwealth burials, mostly from the Second World War.

Along with the burial graves, Kranji is the home of the Singapore Memorial, which bears the names of over 24,000 casualties of the Commonwealth land and air forces who died during the Second World War but have no known grave.

The interview with Kannaya Somu follows another online feature by the South China Morning Post on Hong Kong Cemetery manager Derek Cheung Yu-keung.

See link: http://www.scmp.com/video/hong-kong/2051607/lest-we-forget-meet-former-british-soldier-who-has-taken-care-hong-kongs-war