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The Kuching Heroes Memorial Park or mausoleum isn’t exactly a top tourist attraction in Kuching but this particular memorial is important particularly to commemorate heroes that fought gallantly for Sarawak.
Recently, I went to check it out as I felt it’s one part of Kuching which I always passed by, but never had the time to visit.
What to expect
The memorial itself is not that big, and I felt it was rather serene as I walked from Jalan Taman Budaya into the entrance.
The path to the memorial park was well maintained with the sounds of tennis balls bouncing from the nearby tennis court filling the air during my short 50m walk into the main section of the memorial.
Upon arriving at the centre of the memorial, I observed the memorial itself was well maintained and there was an open space, a World War II memorial, graves and two monuments.
The World War II memorial was built to honour 13 men who sacrificed their lives to help the prisoners of war (POW) of Allied Forces held in Batu Lintang and Sandakan POW camps during the WWII.
Eight of these men were executed at Stapok Road on March 2nd in 1944 by the Japanese for assisting the Allied POW at Sandakan POW Camp, while the rest were arrested and imprisoned by Japanese ‘Kempetai’ until their deaths at Jawa Road Prison in Kuching.
At the grave site were the graves of the late Datuk Awang Raweng, the late Temenggong Datuk Kanang anak Langkau, the late DSP Michael anak Padel, and the graves of Sarawak Rangers and Elite Iban Trackers.
Both the late Awang and Kanang was a well decorated Sarawakian soldier, with Awang being Malaysia’s sole George Cross Medal recipient, and Kanang was the sole recipient of both the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa and Pingat Gagah Berani.
The late Micheal was killed in Semporna when Sabah was under siege by Sulu gunmen in 2013. Micheal is the first police officer to be buried at the memorial.
Behind the three graves are 21 gravestones of Iban trackers and Sarawak Rangers.
Behind the grave stones is the Sarawak Rangers Monument and the Heroes Monument.
These monuments explain how the remains of these 21 brave men were exhumed from the respective Commonwealth War Graves and brought home to Sarawak and reburied at this site through Operation MAI PULAI.
It also explains how the 21 Iban trackers and Sarawak Rangers fought in battlefields during the Malayan Emergency, and how they are honoured through the memorial.
At the walls of the memorial park are plaques which include a commemorative plaque by New Zealand High Commissioner by the New Zealand Malayan Veterans Association (NZMVA).
Below are more photos I took during my visit to the memorial park.
Where is Kuching Heroes Memorial Park
The Heroes Memorial is not exactly visible from the main road although you can see the signage of the place from the road.
If you are familiar with Kuching City, it is located in between Sarawak Club and St Joseph’s Cathedral. In fact, the memorial is just beside St Joseph’s Cemetery.
To go here, you can use the map below.
You can walk to this place if you are staying in hotels that is located within Kuching City Centre, but it will take you about 20 – 30 minutes.
There is no parking space or bus stations immediately available at the entrance of the memorial, but there’s a small junction at the entrance which could be used to dropp one off if you decide to visit the memorial.
I spent about 10 minutes at the memorial, mostly reading and taking photos.
As I left the memorial, I felt that the place deserves more attention as a place of interest in Kuching.
Although it is in fact a cemetery in the middle of the city, it was calming being here. You don’t get that ‘eerie feeling’ you usually get when going to a cemetery, but I perhaps can’t say the same if you decided to go here during the night. Regardless, I do think the memorial is well lit at night as well.
Anyway, while there’s perhaps not much to see and do here, the memorial is good to revisit history and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country and fellow countrymen.
Other interesting destinations
If you are not keen to visit the Kuching Heroes Memorial park, there are many more attractions you can visit in Kuching.
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