Damascus 1914-1918 Indian Memorial
The Memorial commemorates those formerly buried or
commemorated in Damascus Indian War Cemetery which could no longer be adequately
In 1961 the remains of the Muslim soldiers were removed from Damascus Indian War
Cemetery and reverently reburied, and earth with which the ashes of the Hindu
and Sikh soldiers had mingled was scattered near this spot. Inscribed on the
Memorial, in English and Arabic, is the following inscription:
1914 - 1918 HERE ARE COMMEMORATED FORTY NINE SOLDIERS OF THE INDIAN ARMY THREE
SOLDIERS OF THE CAMEL TRANSPORT CORPS SEVEN SOLDIERS OF THE EGYPTIAN LABOUR
CORPS AND TWO SOLDIERS OF THE TURKISH ARMY WHO WERE BURIED AT DAMASCUS INDIAN
WAR CEMETERY OR WERE CREMATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR FAITH.
Damascus 1939-1945 Memorial
This memorial commemorates ten Arab soldiers, casualties of
the 1939-1945 War, whose graves in Syria, Lebanon and Israel are so situated
that permanent maintenance is not possible. It is in the form of a simple screen
wall of local stone with four Portland stone panels. On the two central panels
are engraved the names of those whom it honours. The two outer panels bear a
dedicatory inscription in English and Arabic. The English version reads:.
THE SOLDIERS WHOSE NAMES ARE HONOURED HERE
SERVED AND DIED DURING THE WAR OF 1939-1945
AND WERE BURIED IN NEIGHBOURING LANDS
The cemetery is approximately 5 kilometres south-west of the city centre
in an area known as Sabara (Arabic for prickly pear).
The cemetery is amongst an area of prickly pear plants, which is located behind
apartment blocks and therefore is not easily viewed from any main roads.
However, visitors can best reach the cemetery by private car or taxi.
From Al Umawiyeen Square go along Fayez Mansour motorway to just past the Ar
Razi Hospital. Then turn left until you find Al Farabi St. (which runs parallel
with Fayez Mansour Motorway) and turn right into it. Go past Casablanca Flowers,
past Tello Chocolates and Gifts (all on the left side). Just past No 95 is a
small street named Mahmoud Antar (3) Alley. Turn left into this and then right
into Abdul Karim Razzooq St. and it's about 150-200 metres along. All the
streets are signposted.
The opening times for the cemetery are:
Saturday to Thursday 08:00 to 15:00.
At all other times the gates are kept locked.
Wheelchair access is possible via the main entrance.
For further information regarding wheelchair access, please contact our
enquiries department on telephone number 01628 634221.
The cemetery dates from the First World War when Damascus was entered by
Commonwealth forces on 1 October 1918. The first medical unit arriving the next
day found the Turkish hospitals crowded with sick and wounded, and a few days
later an epidemic of influenza and cholera broke out. The First World War
burials in this cemetery were mostly from these hospitals.
The Second World War burials began in 1941 during the operations against the
Vichy French, and later on graves were moved into the cemetery from civilian
burial grounds, Deraa French Military Cemetery, and from scattered sites in the
areas where the fighting occurred. The first burials were in a tree belt between
the cemetery boundaries and the low wall which enclosed the plots of existing
graves. Adjoining land to the west, known as "The Cypresses", was acquired by
the military authorities when it became necessary to enlarge the cemetery.
DAMASCUS COMMONWEALTH WAR CEMETERY now contains 661 Commonwealth burials and
commemorations of the First World War. 74 of the burials are unidentified and,
in the new part of the cemetery, a special tablet commemorates six men of the
Indian army who were buried in Damascus Indian War Cemetery but whose graves are
now lost. Second World War burials number 504, of which 14 are unidentified. The
cemetery also contains seven war graves of other nationalities.
The DAMASCUS 1939-45 MEMORIAL also stands within the cemetery. This simple
screen memorial commemorates ten Arab soldiers whose graves in Syria, Lebanon
and Israel are so situated that permanent maintenance is not possible.