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Chittagong and Mainamati War Cemetery: Witnesses of the Second World War

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The Second World War was one of human history's most significant and catastrophic events, leaving an indelible mark on the world. 

Decades after it ended, the war still holds a fascination for many people, whether it's the grand military strategy or the individual stories of bravery and sacrifice that took place on the front lines. 

Today, we will explore two places in Bangladesh that bear witness to the sacrifices made during the war: the Chittagong War Cemetery and the Mainamati War Cemetery. These places are a reminder of the human cost of the war and the importance of remembering those who gave their lives.

Chittagong War Cemetery

The War Cemetery is located at 19 Badsha Mia Chowdhury Road in the commercial area of Mehedibagh in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The cemetery's surroundings are beautiful with greenery, and the solemn, peaceful atmosphere can be soothing for anyone who visits. 

This war cemetery contains the graves of 755 Commonwealth soldiers killed during the war and a few soldiers from other nationalities.

The cemetery also houses a memorial to the soldiers who have no known grave and a Cross of Sacrifice, which is a symbol of remembrance for those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the war. The graves are arranged in terraces and carefully maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

According to the professions, 524 soldiers, 194 airmen, and 13 sailors are at this memorial. However, in terms of country, the number of dead soldiers from the United Kingdom is higher. 

Only 378 soldiers are from the United Kingdom, and there are 214 from pre-divided India. 

In addition, soldiers from countries such as Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Africa, and Myanmar also have memorials. Outside the symmetry built in the 1950s, there is an open field. From 9 am to 12 pm and from 3 pm to 5 pm daily, admission is free for visitors, which undergoes some changes during the winter and Ramadan.

Mainamati War Cemetery

The Mainamati War Cemetery is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery located in the Comilla district of Bangladesh. It is the final resting place of 736 soldiers who died during World War II, including 52 soldiers from the British Indian Army, 194 from the Royal Air Force, and 13 from the Royal Navy.

The cemetery is located in a beautiful and serene location in the foothills of the Mainamati range, with well-manicured lawns and beautiful trees. The graves are marked with headstones made of white marble, each inscribed with the name, rank, and regiment of the deceased.

Most of the soldiers buried in the Mainamati War Cemetery died during the Burma Campaign, fought between the Allied forces and the Japanese Empire in the South-East Asian theatre of World War II. 

The cemetery also contains the graves of soldiers who died in other parts of Bangladesh during the war. Without the two days of Eid, this war cemetery is open to the public every day from 7 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 5 pm.

Every November, the High Commissioners and Ambassadors of the Commonwealth member countries come to pay their respects to the war memorials of their respective countries at the two war cemeteries. 

In addition, relatives of soldiers also come to see the graves of their loved ones. It serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by those who fought for freedom and the importance of remembering their contributions to the world.

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