Kandy Garrison Cemetery

Kandy Garrison Cemetery  is located Back on the lakeside just beyond the National Museum. It was established in 1817, shortly after the British seized control of Kandy, to provide a final resting place for expired British colonists. Having fallen into complete negligence, the cemetery has recently been carefully restored and now offers a moving memorial to Ceylon’s former colonial master. Shockingly few of the people buried here made it to the age of 30, and even those who avoided the usual hazards of tropical diseases and hostile natives found unusual ways to meet their maker .Such as John Spottiswood Robertson (died 1856), crushed to death by a wild elephant , David Findlay (died 1861), killed when his house collapsed on top of him  or William Watson Mackwood (died 1867), who somehow managed to Spear himself on a stake whilst dismounting from his horse.

The most notable however is Sir John D’Oyly, the  colonial official who brokered the surrender of the city to the British in 1815. D’Oyly was one of the most fascinating figures in the history of colonial Ceylon .He also was a kind of person who became a strict vegetarian, avoided European society and devoted himself to the study of Sinhala and Buddhism. As an observer remarked in 1810: “He lives on plantain, invites nobody to his house, and does not dine abroad above once a year. When I saw him…I was struck with the change of a Cambridge boy into a Sinhalese religious discipline.

Despite his brilliant orchestration of the bloodless coup at Kandy, D’Oyly’s subsequent attempts to protect the Kandyans from British interference and Christian missionaries were little appreciated, and by the time of his death from cholera in 1824.Hhe had become a lonely and marginalized figure .You’d realize it  judging by the size of his memorial, the largest in the cemetery.

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