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CIMITERI DI GUERRA E MEMORIALI DI GUERRA

 

 WAR CEMETERIES AND WAR MEMORIALS

 

 

Cimitero di Guerra di Kandy (Sri Lanka)

 

Kandy Commonwealth War Cemetery (Sri Lanka)

 

 

 

Il cimitero Militare Inglese di Pitakanda (Sri Lanka, in epoca coloniale conosciuta con il nome di Cylon) si trova poco lontano dalla cittā di Kandy, conosciuta per il tempio del Dente di Buddah, e contiene le spoglie di 201 militari  di cui 107 Inglesi, 35 Est Africani, 26 dello Sri lana, 23 Indiani, 6 canadesi, 3 Italiani (vedi sotto, seconda foto) e 1 Francese. Un memoriale eretto nel cimitero nel 1973 ricorda inoltre i 23 prigionieri di guerra italiani morti a Ceylon tra il 1939 ed il 1945.  Ringraziamo Claudio Provana (Bareggio, MI) che ci ha gentilmente fornito le fotografie da lui scattate sul posto durante un viaggio in Sri Lanka.

 

Kandy War Cemetery at Pitakanda merits special mention, as it is often singled out as one of the most beautifully landscaped and maintained war cemeteries in the world. In a memorial erected in this cemetery in 1973 bears the names of 28 Italian prisoners of war who died in Ceylon between 1939 and 1945. These prisoners were buried in the Kandy War Cemetery and the former Combined Services Cemetery which is now called the Trincomalee War Cemetery. An idea of the range of nationalities laid to rest on this Island comes from the records of the War cemetery in Kandy, where 201 war dead rest, among them 107 Britons, 35 East Africans, 26 Sri Lankans, 23 Indians 6 Canadians, 3 Italians (see the second picture below) and 1 Frenchman.

 

(Pictures: courtesy by Claudio Provana )

 

 

La sepoltura di alcuni soldati italiani: Giovanni Puggioni (Nuoro, Aspirante Ufficiale, 63° Battaglione Carri, 06-05-1945);  Mario Ruocco (Artigliere, 150° Gruppo Artiglieria, 16-11-1945); Luigi Buongiorno (Napoli, Geniere, 21-04-1945). Tutti deceduti tra il mese di Maggio ed il mese di Novembre 1945, al momento della morte erano classificati come cobelligeranti ex-prigionieri dall'8 settembre 1943. I luoghi di cattura vanno dalla A.O.I, all' Africa Settentrionale ed alla Sicilia.

The burial of some of the Italian soldiers Giovanni Puggioni (Nuoro, Aspirante Ufficiale, 63° Battaglione Carri, 06-05-1945) Mario Ruocco (Artigliere, 150° Gruppo Artiglieria, 16-11-1945) Luigi Buongiorno (Napoli, Geniere, 21-04-1945). All of them died between May and November 1945, and at that time their status was co-belligerant former POW since September 9th, 1945. The places were they were taken prisoners were different: Estern Africa, North Africa and Sicily.

 

Historical information

 

(Source: http://www.lankalibrary.com )

 

Sri Lanka or Ceylon, as it was known in colonial times, held a strategic position in the Indian Ocean astride the allied sea route linking Australia, India and the Middle East. Most of the military deaths on the island during World War I occurred in Colombo Military Hospital, to which were brought sick or injured troops who were either based on the island or evacuated from passing ships. During World War II Ceylon was a naval and air force base, a training ground for jungle warfare and a hospital and leave centre. Having become the hub of maritime power in the Indian Ocean, it was the headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander, Southeast Asia Command, from April 1944 to November 1945. Except for the servicemen and women who lost their Lives during the single air attack on the island, most of the casualties that occurred during this war were due to sickness or accidents.
There are six Commonwealth war cemeteries in Sri Lanka, four in Colombo, one in the hill capital Kandy and one in Trincomalee. Other Commonwealth war casualties rest in Jawatte Muslim Cemetery, Kuppiyawatte Muslim Cemetery, Kandy Civil Cemetery, George E. De Silva Park in Kandy and Nuwara Eliya Holy Trinity Churchyard. A total of 1,999 Commonwealth war dead are commemorated in the war cemeteries or plots in Sri Lanka. There are two Commonwealth war memorials in Colombo. Liveramentu Cemetery: the first, the Liveramentu Memorial bears the names of 346 Commonwealth service men and one serviceman from the Netherlands; the other, the Cremation Memorial commemorates 165 servicemen of the Hindu faith.
Kandy Colonial War Cemetery is down by the Mahaweli riverside.

During World War II there was a decisive moment for the British defending the empire against the Japanese after Singapore was occupied by the Japanese. The military headquarters were shifted from Burma to Ceylon and Lord Mountbatton gave his instructions from Peradeniya gardens to hold up the Japanese, undermining the dominance of the British Empire in this part of the world. Kandy played a special role during the colonial period under the British from the first to the last moment.

The special memorial Type C commemorates a naval man known to have been buried in the cemetery but whose grave could not be precisely located. It bears the superscription "Buried near this spot". There is 1 Commonwealth burial of the 1914-1918 war and a further 196 Commonwealth burials of the 1939-1945 war commemorated here. In addition there are 4 Foreign National and 2 non world war burials. No. of Identified Casualties: 201 (Source: CWGC)

 

 

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