At the time of the Japanese invasion of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur was the headquarters of the 3rd Indian Corps. Early in 1941 part of the recently raised 8th Division of the Australian Infantry Force was assigned to Malaya, a territory of strategic importance to Australia.
The headquarters divisional staff arrived on February 18th in advance of the main force, which numbered some 6,000 men, and the divisional headquarters and attached units were posted at Kuala Lumpur.
As the Japanese moved successfully down the peninsula a temporary prisoner-of-war camp was established at Pudu jail, to which United Kingdom and Commonwealth serviceman were taken before being sent to Changi Camp on Singapore island. Some of them died, of wounds or sickness, while in this camp and were buried in the Cheras Road Civil Cemetery.
The Cemetery is situated south of Kuala Lumpur, to the left of Cheras Highway toll gates. It can be reached by turning left immediately after the toll gates. Crossing the car park, follow the top left hand lane to the end, thus reaching the Commonwealth Cemetery gate. The Commonwealth Cemetery is enclosed by a fence planted with climbers and hedges and backs onto the new highway. Many of the graves are of servicemen who died in Pudu Jail, a temporary prisoner of war camp.
The location or design of this site makes wheelchair access impossible.
There are 666 casualties in the cemetery.