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Ranchi War Cemetery

  • Country India
  • Total identified casualties 703 Find these casualties
  • Identified casualties from Second World War
  • GPS Coordinates Latitude: 23.36334, Longitude: 85.34405

Please note

May 2024 - Major construction work is in progress on the road outside the cemetery. However, the cemetery remains accessible to staff and visitors.

Location information

Ranchi is a town in the State of Jharkhand, some 419 kilometres. north-west of Calcutta. It can be reached by air from Delhi, Kolkata and Patna. The War Cemetery is on Old Hazari Bagh Road, about 1.5 kilometres from Ranchi railway station. It is situated next to the SPG Christian Cemetery near Kantatoli Chowk. The Cemetery entrance being several metres off the road can easily be missed.

Visiting information


Routes to the cemetery are signposted.


It is possible to park outside the cemetery at the side of the main road. There is space for 2 vehicles.

The distance from the off-street parking to the main entrance is approximately 8 metres.


The cemetery is a large triangular shaped cemetery adjacent to the municipal cemetery.

There is a small concrete ramp (with no handrails) running from the roadside down onto a concrete paved area in front of the the main entrance. There is a drainage channel between the road and the ramp down to the paved area.

There is a double latched gate, 2 metres wide total, opening outwards from the paved area onto a stone pathway leading to the main entrance

The main entrance is a stone shelter building, with access into the cemetery via a double gate (2 metres wide total and 1.8 metres tall). The gate has a sliding latch which is locked outside working hours (see below) and opens outwards towards the roadside.

There is one step down from the shelter building paving to a paved pathway leading into the cemetery.

The cemetery Register Box is in the shelter building.

There are stone benches located on either side of the entrance gates within the shelter building.

The Cross of Sacrifice is in the centre of the cemetery.

There are stone benches and seating areas in the cemetery – two at the rear of the cemetery and two facing the Cross of Sacrifice from either side of the site. All are shaded by trees

All internal paths are grass, and the ground is flat.


The cemetery is open Monday to Friday 0800 hrs to 1700 hrs and Saturday morning 0800 hrs to 1200 hrs.

Outside of the opening hours the cemetery is locked.

Access to the cemetery Register is only available during gardener/caretakers' working hours.

Download Cemetery Plan

History information

After the fall of Rangoon in March 1942, the probability that the Japanese would occupy the whole of Burma constituted a grave threat to India and Ceylon. The forces available for defence were dangerously weak; apart from those deployed on the north-west frontier and on internal security, there were only seven divisions, and these lacked ancillary troops and equipment. The air force and airfields were inadequate and the fleet as a whole was in no position to dispute command of the Bay of Bengal. In March and April 1942, 100,000 tons of shipping were sunk in the bay. Internal disturbances in India presented an additional threat, and some of the worst troubles occurred in districts of Bihar.

In May 1942 five further divisions reached India, followed in June by two more, and the air force strength was increased. Ranchi became an important base, and the 70th Division, less one brigade in Ceylon, was posted there to meet any sea-borne attack on the Orissa coast, and to form the only reserve to support Assam or Bengal.

The cemetery was begun on 1 June 1942 by the army, and used until the end of the war. Afterwards graves from isolated positions and small inaccessible cemeteries were brought in, and in 1952, more than 200 graves were transferred to the cemetery from twelve civil cemeteries. Ranchi is the smallest 'concentration' cemetery in India.

There are now 704 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery.