Kranji is one of many War Cemeteries cared for by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in countries around the world. It is situated on a hill in the north of Singapore Island, not far from the Causeway connecting Singapore to Johor Bahru.
Pre-World War Two, Kranji was a British military camp, with a large ammunition dump. Close by is the mouth of the Kranji River, where the Japanese Imperial Guards Division landed on 9th February 1942, the day after the landings at Sarimbun.
Following the Japanese occupation of Singapore, Kranji became a POW camp, with a POW hospital close by at Woodlands. A cemetery for prisoners was started at Kranji and after the war, in 1946, it was decided to move war graves from Changi, Buona Vista and other cemeteries to Kranji which would be designated as Singapore's War Cemetery. Graves were also moved to Kranji from as far afield as Saigon where they could not be maintained. Graves from the Christian Bidadari Cemetery were also later moved to Kranji.
There are 64 WWI War Graves and 4458 WWII War Graves of which 850 are unidentified in Kranji . The Memorial Panels are inscribed with the names of over 24,000 casualties who have no known grave.
Following the withdrawal of British forces from Singapore in 1971, The Singapore Government moved burials from The Pasir Panjang and Ulu Pandan Military Cemeteries to Kranji. This delicate work was carried out from 1975-1976. The new Military Cemetery was created on the western slope of Kranji Hill beside the War Cemetery. In 2004, more graves from Bidadari Cemetery were also moved to the Military Cemetery. The Military Cemetery contains 1,378 graves, including 1 unidentified. There are two Gardens of Remembrance. Some of the moved burials were cremated at the wish of relatives. The ashes of some of these were returned home and the remainder were scattered on these gardens.