DIBRUGARH, June 29 � Months after The Assam Tribune carried a news report about the neglected British cemetery located beside NH 37 near Amollapatty here, the Deputy Commissioner today paid a visit to the heritage site along with Chief Executive Officer of Zila Parishad, Prabhat Konwar, municipality chairman Chandrakanta Barua and SDO Bhaskar Pegu to get first-hand information about the historic site.
The graveyard spreads across about 68,608 square feet. It was constructed in 1862-63 reportedly with an amount of Rs 4,812 only. Altogether, 103 British nationals were laid to rest in this cemetery. The first person to be laid to rest at this cemetery was young British Corporal Thomas Trail. Wiliam Alexander Mackensie Duncan, the then Deputy Commissioner of Dibrugarh (erstwhile Lakhimpur district), was also laid to rest in this graveyard. Top British officials, then Executive Councillor W Claig, Upper Assam Executive Councillor Barnard J, Indian General Steam Navigation Company�s ship Rajmahal�s Commander Thomas Walter, Lakhimpur district�s civil surgeon Lt (Col) Jemirier and many others are stated to be buried here.
The bodies of a number of British soldiers who died fighting during the World War II also lie buried in the cemetery.
Expressing the need to preserve and protect the heritage graveyard, the Deputy Commissioner immediately directed the Chief Executive Officer Prabhat Konwar to start cleaning, erect strong boundary walls, appoint an in-charge and workers to look after the cemetery from the allotted Rs 5 lakh from Zila Parishad.
He also asked the municipality chairman to give the surroundings an aesthetic look and make the site noticebale. He said that the district administration was ready to extend help in protecting and preserving the cemetery, which is more than 150-years-old.