“Ik had getekend voor de Expeditionaire Macht, en je tekende dan voor onbepaalde tijd, waar ook ter wereld. Ik kwam bij de Zeven December Divisie op 2 januari 1946. We zouden worden opgeleid voor de oorlog tegen Japan maar toen die capituleerde werd onze bestemming Indië…”
for a unknown period wherever in the world I would be required. I was enlisted in the Seventh December Division on the 2nd of January 1946. We would receive training for the war against Japan but when they surrendered our destination was changed to the Dutch Indies…”
(The Diary of Chris Fillet, Ordinary guy from Amsterdam who volunteers for the 7 December Division)
“Is it in Indonesia, Jakarta? Really?”, I asked my friend Hatmanto that sent picture of the cemetery. That cemetery picture has generated my curiosity because it was sited in Jakarta. Amazed me! Never seen before, there is an European cemetery. Well orgnized.
From this point, I have made a contact to Oorlogsgravenstichting Indonesie – OGS (The Netherlands War Graves Foundation) and sent a letter of propos our occasional visit to this Ereveld. In this letter I explain that we are a voluntary group of young people that concern about history in Jakarta. Every weekend, we always take a journey in historical sites of Jakarta and its surroundings. Our simply objective is for the diffusion of historic knowledge to our next generation, especially relationship between The Netherlands and Indonesia.
Finally, our propos to visit this cemetery has been fulfilled by an authorization from OGS. The occasional visit was proudly accessible on Saturday May 13th 2006.
Last but not least, to all my friends in journey: Windy + Little Kaka, Mayahadi, Mayasari, Rahmat, Vini, Luluk, Niken, Nana, and Hatmanto who translated the catalogue of Ereveld Menteng Pulo from Dutch in to Indonesian.
THE CEMETERY: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Ereveld Menteng Pulo is Dutch Cemetery consists of victims during Second World War in the Japanese occupation in Netherlands Indies and revolutionary period of 1945 – 1949. It was established since 1947 by Lieutenant General Spoor, A Commander of Royal Dutch Army. He was died in 25 May 1949, and buried in this cemetery as well.
While inaugurated on 8 December 1947, Lieutenant General Spoor took a concern about the diversity of the victims. He said that here laid the victims whose got white skin, brown skin, men, women, and children. They were from Northern and Southern Holland, and also victims of tan skin who lived in this archipelago. They laid together regardless racialism issues, religion, and medal honor.
ORIGIN OF THE “CORPUS”
The victims were originally buried in 22 war cemeteries throughout the archipelago. These cemeteries were established between 1945 and 1950 by the grave registration unit of Royal Netherlands Indies Army (KNIL). After the independence of sovereignty, the mortal remains be concentrated on the seven war cemeteries in Java: Ereveld Menteng Pulo (Jakarta), Ereveld Ancol (Jakarta), Ereveld Pandu (Bandung), Ereveld Leuwigajah (Cimahi), Ereveld Kalibanteng (Semarang), Ereveld Candi (Semarang), and Ereveld Kembang Kuning (Surabaya).
The victims were from Banjarmasin (1961), Tarakan (1964), Manado (1965), Palembang (1967), Balikpapan (1967), Makassar (1968), and Cililitan (1968). Presently, more than 4.000 corps were buried in this cemetery.
The Simultaantkerk, Ereveld Menteng Pulo
Simultaankerk is the landmark of Ereveld Menteng Pulo. It was built quickly consists of brick and white bolster cement in 1950. The enchanted tower of 22 meters height has garnished this church.
In front of the Simultaankerk we found the vintage bell that has inscription:
“DE DANK VAN HET VOLK TEN VROMEN TOLK, TAMP IK BOVEN DE GRAVEN VAN DIE HUN TROUW AAN HET ROOD-WIT-BLAUW, IN STOF EN AS HIER STAVEN”
We could interpret:
“Many grateful thanks to obedient country, I depend on the top of rope above their grave whom has loyality to red-white-blue, in their dust and corps as well”.
There is a beautiful calm pool with a fountain and lotus that surrounded by charming architecture. In the corner of Columbarium, there is small tower and dome like a pear. There is unidentified urn beneath the tower.
Also, inside the Simultaankerk, The Burma Monument for memorial of the victims during development of railway in Burma. This monument made from wooden cushion of railway.
* * *
“Onze eenheid is bevestigd. Door ons gezamenlijk lijden”
The “7 December Division” Monument is sited on Ereveld Menteng Puloin the backyard of Simultaantkerk. In front of the monuments laid the victims of 7 December Division 1946 – 1949 and their tombs were marked by “7DD”.
War Cemetery for Comrades of 7 December Division 1946-49
Their tomb were marked by “7DD”THE MISSION OF “7 DECEMBER DIVISION”
Originally, “7 December” was named after Queen Wilhelmina’s speech in London on 7th of December 1942:
It will be a difference of treatment based on race or national character is not place, but will have only the personal skills of citizens and the needs of different population groups be crucial for the policy of the Government. “
“7 DECEMBER DIVISION”
During the Second World War, the emblem of the first division was designed for the future expeditionary force to the fight against Japan. However, after the capitulation of Japan in August 15, 1945 emblem was unnecessary. The emblem was re-introduced by army order in 1946 (for binding) by the future commander of the First Division, Colonel HJJW Durst Britt.
“7 DECEMBER DIVISION”
On Board: Troopers of 7 December Division
Source: http://www.7decemberdivisie.nlA convoy of 7 December Division,
withdraw from the town Tjikarang towards Krawang.
Source: LergermuseumTHE MILITARY RESOURCES
“7 DECEMBER DIVISION”
1 Division liaison department
1 Battalion AAT (4 comp)
1 Battalion Pioneers
1, 2 and 3 Inf. Brigade Workshop
1 Regiment Light luchtdoelart.
1 Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment
2 Field Artillery Regiment
6 Field Artillery Regiment
8 Field Artillery Regiment
1 Reconnaissance Regiment
1 machine-gun Battalion
Staff 1 Infantry Brigade Group:
3 Garde Grenadiers Regiment
3 Garde Regiment Jagers
3 Guard Regiment Prinses Irene
Staff 2 Infantry Brigade Group:
3-1 Infantry Regiment
3-9 Infantry Regiment
3-12 Infantry Regiment
Staff 3 Infantry Brigade Group
3-2 Infantry Regiment
3-14 Infantry Regiment
3 Shock Troops Regiment
1, 2 and 3 Help Link City Department
1 Field Hospital
Arva Division 1
1 and 2 Royal Military Police Company
Division 1 Park Equipment
1 Division of Field Post Section
3-3 Infantry Regiment (distributed)
3-5 Infantry Regiment (distributed)
3-7 Infantry Regiment (distributed)
3-8 Infantry Regiment (West Java)
3-10 Infantry Regiment (West Java)
3-11 Infantry Regiment (distributed)
Other components, which long-term in West Java:
4-3 Infantry Regiment
4-8 Infantry Regiment
4-10 Infantry Regiment
5-7 Infantry Regiment
Infantry I KNIL
Infantry II KNIL
Fighting vehicles I KNIL
Under temporary command in West Java:
1-11 Infantry Regiment
1-4 Infantry Regiment
2-13 Infantry Regiment
4-11 Infantry Regiment
5-1 Infantry Regiment
Relief in the area, the F-Brigade, consisting of:
401 Infantry Battalion
412 Infantry Battalion
413 Infantry Battalion
41 Field Artillery Regiment
Light machine guns 1197
Heavy machine guns 36
Twin machine guns 1
2 “mortars 283
3 “mortars 60
4.2 “mortars 16
9 field guns (72)
Cannons at 8. (24)
Cannons at 8 on motoraffuiten (24)
Cannons 2 tl. – 20 mm (42)
Cannon 4 tl. – 40 mm (54)
Light reconnaissance vehicles (32)
Panzers/metal vehicles – pantservoeruigen (32)
Ambulance Vehicles (48)
***Major General E.Engles speech on the Ceremony 16th of September 1949.
The military funeral ceremony on 16th September 1949 – Ereveld Menteng Pulo.
From left to right the representative of the Navy Commander in the East: Capt. H.J.G. v. Giesen, the Governor of Batavia: R.A.A. Hilman Djajadiningrat, the C-Division Commander: Major General E. English, the Army Commander: General DC Lieutenant Buurman, and the delegate of the HVK for Pasoendan: Mr Dr. R.W. of Diffelen.
On 16th of September 1949, the men of the “7 December Division” and Vrouwenhulpkorps (Women’s Auxiliary Corps)farewell to their 500 fallen comrades deceased and buried at the Ereveld Menteng Pulo, Djakarta.
Source: KITLV and Lergermuseum
THE NEXT ODYSSEY FROM EREVELD TO EREVELD
Chris Fillet Dagboek, Zeven December Divisie: Nederlands – Indië 1946-1950 [www.zevendecemberdivisie.nl]
Ereveld Menteng Pulo, leaflet, Oorlogsgravenstichting Indonesie
7 December Divisie, Wij werden geroepen: Nederlands-Indië 1946-1950, [www.7decemberdivisie.nl]
“Ereveld Menteng Pulo”
“Dutch War Cemeteries in Indonesia”