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November 2021

Thai Burma Railway

(Page 2 of 5)

Thai Managed WW2 Museum adjacent the BRK.
There are some good exhibitions and some tacky ones – you be the judge. There are also a collection of Thai war culture and battles that Thai’s have been engaged in (principally with the Burmese) over the centuries. (Note the human bones in this museum – surely they should be buried – they may be allied!).

A period loco out the front of the Museum near the bridge

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
Again note the cross of sacrifice and the stone of remembrance. The British are buried to the right of the entrance at the front and the Dutch behind them. To the left of the entrance are the Australians and the boys with no known graves and who were unidentified. (Information centre to the back).

Note that not all soldiers are buried according to race, that is sometimes you may see a Brit with an Aussie, Dutchman or a combination of these – these guys were usually mates and wanted to be together. Where you see members of the Air forces is usually they crashed their planes and the entire crew died together.

Grass is Buffalo grass and note the attention to detail in terms of the flowers, general maintenance and up keep of the cemetery.

An Australian soldier in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery who died on Christmas Day 1943.

This cemetery is on the banks of the MaeKhlong River. The Japanese had established a POW base camp here which included a large hospital, most POW’s would pass via this camp on their way to work further afield on the railway. Kanchanaburi cemetery is on Sangchuto Road and is the largest of the two local cemeteries. It has approx. 7,000 men buried here:

» 3, 500 British
» 1900 Dutch and
» 1362 Aussies with one Kiwi, some Indians and Malays. Many boys that went unidentified and are referred to as 'known unto god.'

Many of the unknown men in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

The Cross of Sacrifice at Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi Information Centre (TBRC)
This opened in January 2003, and was constructed so that the 100’s of tourists per day that visit Kanburi can get an idea of the history of the Thai/Burma Railway. Some of the museums in the local area as you may seen don’t really give a great account of events on the line and they have popped up really to take advantage of the every increasing tourist activity/patronage to the area. This centre cost 1 million pounds to construct and was done from private persons; a friends of the TBRC was established (I am a friend of the TBRC and subsequent Life Member) to help raised money in brining the project to life. Not all persons get up to hellfire Pass which is another 80 kms up the road – most in fact see the cemetery and go back to Bangkok. At least these people who visit now, can be ‘adequately informed’ on historic elements of the railway. The TBRC overlooks the cemetery, but is designed not to impose on it. Part of the funds/income of the TBRC is used both to operate the Centre and provides monies to local Thai charities and schools.

The Thai-Burma Railway Centre Museum adjacent the War Cemetery.

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