Anzac Day Memoir written by Graeme Jenkinson (CBHS 1957-1962) from “The Bridge on the River Kwai”

06 May 2021

Anzac Day – Another Time. Another Place

Kiaora. Today, on Anzac Day, I stood with you, but at another time and in another place. You stood at the Weka St. Cenotaph, where I also stood sixty years ago, this year, in my Sea Cadet uniform representing the BHS Sea Cadet Corp., but today I stand at a town in Western Thailand, close to the Burmese border, called Kanchanaburi – better known to most as “The Bridge On The River Kwai.”

I stand at the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, beautifully kept by Commonwealth War Graves Commission, surrounded by 6,858 Allied dead POW’s. Mostly Australian, British and Dutch but some from India and the US  – and 13 New Zealanders.  All died by starvation, disease, execution or violence at the hands of their Japanese captors while constructing the ‘Burma – Siam Death Railway’ thru Thailand to link China with India.  There is another similar sized cemetery just across the border in Myanmar called the Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery that holds the remains of a similar number of POW’s, including 14 more New Zealanders. Read more