Before their repatriation in 1947, the surrendered Japanese POWs who were used as manual labourers by the British took it upon themselves to commemorate their war dead. A group of them decided to clean up the cemetery and setting up Field Marshal Terauchi’s tombstone in the eastern corner of the cemetery and three tombstones in the western corner of the cemetery with this inscription:
In memory of the souls of the Labour Force comprising Army and Navy personnel who died in Singapore between September 1945 and April 1947.
Their work remained undisturbed by the British authorities as they could not read the Japanese inscriptions on the memorials and were too busy rebuilding the city. Behind this memorial, the ashes of 10,000 Japanese war dead collected mainly from the destroyed Syonan Chureito (now known as Bukit Batok Memorial) were put into a hole which was sealed with concrete. Terauchi’s tombstone and three other distinctive memorials in the cemetery were completed by three Japanese prisoners in April 1947 by carpenter Kunio Higashituji, and stonemasons Tomokatsu Mizuya and Tokiyaki Tetsuka.
There is a small concrete pillar known as A memorial to the ashes of 135 martyrs, which marks the spot where the ashes of the 135 Japanese officers and men who were executed at Changi Prison are buried. A similar pillar on another corner of the west end marks the burial spot of the ashes of 79 Japanese who were executed in Malaysia.
Added to Collections.