Cowra war cemeteries


Established in 1964, this is the only Japanese War Cemetery to be retained in Australia. There are 523 graves at the Japanese War Cemetery, containing the remains of the 231 Japanese soldiers who were killed in the 1944 Cowra Breakout and all Japanese Nationals who died on Australian soil during World War II.

Prior to 1964, the Japanese Cemetery had been cared for in an informal way by members of the Cowra RSL Sub-Branch, who kept the lawns mowed and the weeds in check.

This was done as a mark of respect for the fallen soldiers at a time when there were mixed feelings concerning the Japanese. Today, we encourage you to pay your respects at this solemn place.


The Cowra War Cemetery is the resting place for four of the Australian Soldiers killed in the Cowra Breakout, as well as other service personnel from Cowra who lost their lives in training or from illness. The Cemetery is beautifully maintained and considered a showpiece for modern military cemeteries.

The Australian War Cemetery and the Japanese War Cemetery are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission through the Australian Government’s Department of Veterans Affairs.

Open Time: Accessible at all times and admission is free
Address: Doncaster Drive, Cowra NSW 2794


There were 1,200 Indonesian internees held at the Cowra POW Camp during WWII. There were two groups, the first being merchant navy sailors and the second being Nationalists who had been exiled to what is now Irian Jaya (Dutch New Guinea) after they had been involved in the 1926 uprising.

In 1997 the Indonesian Government erected a memorial to these people in the General Section of the Cowra Cemetery. It was through Jan Lingard from the School of Asian Studies at the University of Sydney that this hidden story was revealed.

Open Time: Accessible at all times and admission is free
Address: Doncaster Drive, Cowra NSW 2794


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    Visit Cowra acknowledges the Wiradjuri People as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and reside, and pay our respects to Elders past and present.