Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bomana War Cemetery

ANZAC Day falls next Saturday, April 25, and in recognition of this, this blog will run a series of articles about WW11 icons in Papua New Guinea over the next couple of days. We start with the Bomana War Cemetery (pictured above) outside Port Moresby...

Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery is about 19 kilometres north of Port Moresby on the road to Nine-Mile, and is approached from the main road by a short side road called Pilgrims Way.

Those who died in the fighting in Papua and Bougainville are buried in Bomana War Cemetery, their graves brought in by the Australian Army Graves Service from burial grounds in the areas where the fighting had taken place.

The unidentified soldiers of the United Kingdom forces were all from the Royal Artillery, captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore; they died in captivity and were buried on the island of Bailale in the Solomons.

These men were later re-buried in a temporary war cemetery at Torokina on Bougainville Island before being transferred to their permanent resting place at Port Moresby.

The cemetery contains 3,819 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 702 of them unidentified.

The Port Moresby Memorial stands behind the cemetery and commemorates almost 750 men of the Australian Army (including Papua and New Guinea local forces), the Australian Merchant Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force who lost their lives in the operations in Papua and who have no known graves.

Men of the Royal Australian Navy who died in the south-west Pacific region, and have no known grave but the sea, are commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial in England, along with many of their comrades of the Royal Navy and of other Commonwealth Naval Forces.
Bougainville casualties who have no known graves are commemorated on a memorial at Suva, Fiji.

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