Earlier this week, the Officers’ mess from the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) travelled to Nairobi to visit Nairobi’s Commonwealth War Graves where they learned about the shared military history of Britain and Kenya during the 19th and 20th Century.
The war cemetery was opened in 1941 and alongside the original burials, numerous graves were transferred here from African civil cemeteries and temporary army burial grounds at Garissa, Gelib, Kinangop, Marsabit, Mega and other inaccessible places.
It is now the largest war cemetery in East Africa, containing 1,952 Commonwealth burials from the Second World War, 11 of which are unidentified. In addition, there are also 76 non-war burials and one French grave.
The cemetery was designed by G. Vey and within the grounds is the East Africa Memorial, which commemorates men of the land forces who lost their lives in the advance from the south into Italian Somaliland and Ethiopia and during the occupation of those territories, and who have no known grave.
Also within the cemetery is the Nairobi Memorial which commemorates 477 men of the United Kingdom, South African, and East African Forces who died in the non-operational zones of Kenya whilst in training, or on lines of communication or garrison duty, and whose graves could not be located or are so situated as to be unmaintainable.