Copryright © Richar E Hinkle 2002
Wan War Cemetery is in the north-east of the island of Hong Kong,
in the Chai Wan area, about 11 kilometres from the centre of Victoria.
At the entrance to the cemetery on Cape Collinson Road stands the
memorial to those who died in Hong Kong and have no known grave.
From it the cemetery slopes down towards the sea. The original magnificent
view towards the main land is now blocked by high rise buildings.
The easiest way to reach the cemetery is by the mass transit railway
(MTR) Hong Kong line to Chai Wan Terminus. From the Terminus one
can either walk up to the cemetery following Chai Wan Road to the
roundabout, turning west into Wan Tsui Road, then south east up
Lin Shing Road which leads to Cape Collinson Road. The CWGC road
direction sign is fixed to a wall facing down Lin Shing Road. The
Cape Collinson area has many cemeteries. Walking up this narrow
one way traffic road, one will pass the Catholic Cemetery situated
on the hillside to the left of the road, and the Hong Kong Military
Cemetery on the right. Sai Wan War Cemetery is about half way up
Cape Collinson Road and faces the Muslim and Buddhist cemeteries.
One can also get a taxi from Chai Wan Terminus and follow the same
route. Alternatively one can board a public light bus, Route No.
16M, which runs from Chai Wan MTR Terminus to Stanley where the
CWGC has another cemetery (Stanley Military Cemetery). En route
to Stanley the minibus will pass Sai Wan War Cemetery, stopping
only on request.
island of Hong Kong fell to the Japanese on Christmas Day 1941 following
a brief but intense period of fighting. Most of those buried in
this cemetery were killed at this time, or died later as internees
or prisoners of war during the Japanese occupation. The remains
of those who died as prisoners in Formosa (now Taiwan) were brought
to Hong Kong for burial at Sai Wan in 1946. There are now 1,528
Commonwealth casualties of the Second World War buried or commemorated
at Sai Wan War Cemetery. 444 of the burials are unidentified. In
addition, there are special memorials to 16 Second World War casualties
buried in Kowloon (Ho Man Tin) No 3 Muslim Cemetery, whose graves
were lost. There are also 77 war graves of other nationalities from
this period, the majority of them Dutch. The cemetery also contains
special memorials to 12 First World War casualties buried in Kowloon
(Ta Sek Ku) Mohammedan Cemetery, whose graves have since been lost.
At the entrance to the cemetery stands the SAI WAN MEMORIAL bearing
the names of more than 2,000 Commonwealth servicemen who died in
the Battle of Hong Kong or subsequently in captivity and who have
no known grave. Additional panels to the memorial form the SAI WAN
CREMATION MEMORIAL, bearing the names of 144 Second World War casualties
whose remains were cremated in accordance with their faith, and
the SAI WAN (CHINA) MEMORIAL, commemorating 72 casualties of both
wars whose graves in mainland China could not be maintained. Both
the cemetery and memorial were designed by Colin St Clair Oakes.
War Graves Commission]