75 years ago. Commonwealth War Cemetery Taiping

Many of you would have visited or passed by the Commonwealth War Cemetery adjacent to the Taiping Lake Garden but do you know the man who constructed that beautiful cemetery? It was not just the building of the cemetery itself but his job included finding and collecting the dead soldiers, identifying them and then burying them. The man was Major James Ingram of the British Army. His daughter, Mollie Deeming (need Ingrams) contacted me and sent me some pics for me to post at my Taiping Talk website at www.TaipingTalk.com/photos.

Part of Mollie’s email to me reads as follows:-

“The cemetery is the only one of its kind in the Malayan Union and is described as one of the most beautiful in the east.”

It was divided into four sections Christian, British, Australian, Indian, Malay and also Chinese soldiers were buried there. The article goes on to say…

“The remains have been recovered from all parts of Malaya by Major Ingram and the 30 British other ranks under his command. In the course of their work they have penetrated deep into the jungle and have used Sakais to help them locate war graves. Three Chinese were buried a week ago yesterday were the first to be interred in the Buddhist sections. Major Ingram asks Malayans who know of the location of any war grave to notify the unit in Taiping and transport will be provided to any part of the country to recover the remains.”

There are many photos of Taiping as it is being constructed, the different types of headstones, chinese funeral rites, and photos of the Memorial to Chinese Massacred at Kuala Trengannu, also photos, articles and other interesting material from the time. I admit to being very proud of my Father’s work and look forward in the next few years to visit Taiping myself. Also I’m concerned that the album itself be preserved somewhere appropriate after my death. Possibly a War Musueum? I don’t know yet”.

You can read more about Major James Ingram and the Commonwealth War Cemetery at my Taiping Talk website:-

http://www.taipingtalk.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=207

http://www.taipingtalk.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=205

http://www.taipingtalk.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=204

By the way, the Commonwealth War Cemetery was formerly known as the Taiping War Cemetery. You can see it when you drive from the Lake Garden towards Bukit Larut (the former Maxwell Hill).

this morning about 3 hours ago ……….

The haze is back to choke us but to some photographers, they take the opportunity to snap the sun when it is less intense. The haze serves as a filter to lessen the intense light emitted by the sun and as a result some interesting pics can be created. Tanjong Bungah and Batu Ferringhi in Penang are places where beautiful sunrise/sunset can be witnessed. I read in the papers this morning that the haze will go on until end of this month. So take this opportunity to do some sun spotting. By the way, the haze is caused by open burning in Indonesia. They burn the forests for cultivation and we get all the smoke.

17 years & 4 months ago ………….

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On 4 April 2002, the New Straits Times published an article about my website, www.PenangTalk.com/photos. It was written by Zoraini Wati Abas, a lecturer at the International Medical University (IMU). She said, “www.PenangTalk.com/photos is not your typical tourism site. I have visited many local tourism sites that have only managed to provide scant or official sort of information for tourists. They are your typical travel sites with recommendations to visit the same list of places and with similar looking pictures. Visit www.PenangTalk.com/photos and you will experience a different sort of environment. It is filled with beautiful photos and valuable information. But what I like about it is that it provides more insights on Penang. This is what makes it unique. I did not get the same satisfaction from any other promotional site on Penang”.

18 years ago ………..

In 2001, the American magazine, the Utne Reader, published an article titled “7 Urban Wonders” and George Town, Penang was included as one of the world’s most liveable cities with a soul. The magazine needed a photo to truly depict the way of life in George Town and the editor commissioned me to take a few for her to choose. She picked the one shown above. The article mentioned that the shophouses did business downstairs while the people lived upstairs and hence the term “shophouse” which means the premises were a shop as well as a house. Some businesses also spilled on to the street. When George Town applied to be listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, this article was one of the many documents submitted to UNESCO. The old residents of George Town were/are the soul of the city and it is unthinkable if they are all gone. We might be able to preserve all those heritage buildings but can George Town retain its soul?

41 years ago ……..

I think a good way to start this blog would be to highlight a news clip from 41 years ago where I was personally involved. Younger people may not have heard of the Penang based newspaper called the The National Echo which was previously known as the Straits Echo. In 1978/79 I contributed a few articles to the weekly motoring section of The National Echo. I wrote under the pseudonym (K.S.) and the pic shows an article of mine published on Friday, May 5, 1978 ………….. 41 years ago. (I will try to upload a pdf copy of the article later). The National Echo ceased publication in 1986 but its predecessor (Straits Echo) was founded in 1903 which makes it one of the oldest newspapers in the country. This is old news but ……………..