Rabaul (Bita Paka) War Cemetery was established by the Army Graves Service in 1945 and was taken over by the Commission in October 1947. It contains the graves of those who lost their lives during the operations in New Britain and New Ireland, or who died in the area while prisoners of war, which were brought into the cemetery from isolated sites, from temporary military cemeteries and from camp burial grounds. It appears to have been the Japanese plan to remove Europeans taken prisoner on these islands to areas from which it would have been harder to escape and to replace them by labour forces of Indian and other Asiatic troops captured in Malaya and elsewhere. This explains the large number of Indian remains recovered by the Australians during the 1945 campaign in New Britain and New Ireland, and the preponderance of Indian Army casualties buried here.
The cemetery contains 1,114 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 495 of them unidentified.
This cemetery also contains First World War graves brought in from Rabaul Cemetery in 1950 and from Kokopo Old German Cemetery in 1961. Special memorials commemorate three casualties who were buried in Rabaul Old Civil Cemetery, but whose graves could not be traced following damage to the cemetery during the Japanese occupation. In all, 32 First World War servicemen are now buried or commemorated in the cemetery.