Myanbyuzayat Cemetery - Burma Star Association
65-kilometre southern of the Moulmein harbour, the hamlet of Thanbyuzayat is located at the bottom of the hill separating the Union of Myanmar from Thailand. Burma's infamous Siam Railroad, constructed by Commonwealth, Netherlands and US POWs, was a Japonese venture fuelled by the need for enhanced communication in aid of the large Japonese military in Burma.
Approximately 13,000 POWs were killed during the building work and interred along the railroad. Approximately 80,000 to 100,000 civilian deaths were reported during the course of the disaster, mainly in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies or in Siam (Thailand) and Burma (Myanmar). There were two workers, one in Siam and the other in Burma, working from opposite ends of the line towards the city.
Japan wanted to complete the railroad in 14 month, and work began in October 1942. Tombs of those who were killed in the building and upkeep of the Burma Siam Railroad (except the Americans whose remnants were returned) were moved from storage burials and isolation along the railroad to three graveyards in Chungkai and Kanchanaburi in Thailand and Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar.
Museum of the Death Railway - Thanbyuzayat
The end of the line for the notorious Burmese Siam Railroad that linked Thailand to Myanmar during the Occupied Japan in World War Two, was Thanbyuzayat. This was known as the death train because of the many POWs who were killed in the construction of the 415 km long line for the Imperial Forces.
From Nong Pladuk in Thailand, over the Mae Klong riverbank (which was re-named Kwai in 1960) 5 km from Kanchanaburi, over Payathounzu (Three-Pagoda-Pass) on the Thai/Myanmar frontier and then heading northeast to Thanbyuzayat over impassable ground. Approximately 100,000 persons were killed in the construction of the railroad, among them 1940 Australians, Nederlands, Americans and Britons as well as workers from Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia.
About one kilometer from the city centre of Thanbyuzayat a funicular monument has been made. Among other things, the exhibits in the exhibition include a section of the former Australia ambassador to Myanmar, Mr Trevor Wilson, who found the siding. Unfortunately, the central part of the house is often closed and the entrance to the house requires the previous approval of the Municipality of Thanbyuzayat.
However, a railway station, a commemorative tablet and one of the engines sponsored by the Japan government from a Yokohama factory were erected on the area.