the 5th Battalion was transported to the Bandung area, in an effort to try to stop the Japanese advance and arrived at Tjiater after hours of marching on March 5th…”
He managed to avoid the Japanese for days,
until he finally reached Bandung on March 12th 1942.
About 72 POW’s were executed at Tjiater of whom only three survived. The main cause for this massacre could be the fierce resistance offered by the 5th Battalion, which delayed the Japanese advance for several hours. All victims were buried at Bandung cemetery – Ereveld Pandu.
Ereveld Pandu is the memorial for the Tjiaterstelling, last battle of KNIL against The Japanese. I visited Ereveld Pandu accompanied by Ivan Sjafari, my best companion in Bandoeng on Saturday 9th August 2008. This mission is a part of the series of “My Odyssey in the Seven Dutch War Cemeteries in Java”. The Ereveld Pandu is the sixth ereveld I had visited, so the next mission Ereveld Leuwigajah in Tjimahi would be the final sequential.
He has been working in OGS for 30 years on.
I would express my gratitude to Mr. Steenmeijer as the Director of Oorlogsgravenstichting Indonesia and Pak Purwadi as Opzichter of Ereveld Pandu who have kindly permitted me for visiting the Ereveld Pandu. Also for my friend Hatmanto Sri Nugroho who voluntary translating the leaflet of this war cemetery for me, and Ivan Sjafari my best companion in Bandoeng as well.
Situation of Bandoeng in 1930s.
The green point is location of Train Station, whereas the red point is location of Christian Cemetery. However, the Ereveld just established in 1948.
Source: BANDOENG – Aangeboden door NILLMIJ,
Bijkantoor voor de Preanger en de P & T Landen, Aloon2 No.53, Bandoeng.
Courtesy of Hatmanto Sri NugrohoHISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Ereveld Pandu was officially inaugurated on 7th of March 1948 by General S.H. Spoor, it was the sixth years of Battle of Tjiaterstelling when The Dutch fought The Japanese in Tjiater, a town in northern Bandoeng. In the ceremonial inauguration, the remains of 14 corps of soldiers from Tjiaterstelling’s casualties were reburied also.
Inauguration of Ereveld Pandu on 7th of March 1948 by General S.H. Spoor at Flagpole Monument. Fourteen coffins, each covered by the Dutch flag, which a helmet, and roses, stood at the edge of the flagpole.
The Flagpole Monument: Present Day Situation
This cemetery was not for KNIL (Koninklijk Nederlandsch Indie Leger) only who lost their lives when they fought against “The Rising Sun”, but also the civilians who interned surrounding Bandoeng, and the victims in the chaotic period by the time of capitulation of Japanese in 1945, both civil or military regarding their duty for establishing the law and order. About 4.000 of the war victims are now buried in this cemetery.In addition of 1960s, there were reburied the mortal remains of war victims from Muntok (1960), Palembang (1967) and Makassar (1968).
THE PRINCIPAL MONUMENT
Designed by AW Gmelig Meyling, stand on platform which supported by eight pillars in the squared pond. On the top of monument there was the statement words “OPGERICHT TER GEDACHTENIS AAN HEN DIE VIELEN ALS OFFER IN DE STRIJD OM VREDE EN RECHT” means “Established in memory of those who fell as a sacrifice in the struggle for peace and justice”. Two tombstones escort this monument and between them, there is granite tablet with Dutch Lion relief.
The left tombstone is dedicated to “The Unknown Soldier” with helm (symbolize of strength, protection, invulnerability) and sword (symbolize of justice and military honor), also the laurel wreath (symbolize of peace and triumph).
The right tombstone is dedicated to “The Unknown Civilian” with torch (symbolize of life and engaging in signal service) and laurel wreath.
Designed by Mrs. Therese de Groot-Haider, established on 15 August 1991. It is the replica of original monument in Koninklijk Tehuis voor Oud-militairen “Bronbeek” (Royal House for Old Soldier “Bronbeek”) in Arnhem. The klewang and carbines characterize the appearance of the army KNIL-soldier.
As well the inscription: “ERE AAN DE GEVALLENEN IN DE STRYD VOOR ORDE, RUST EN WELVAART”, means “To the Fallen in the Struggle for the Restoration of Order, Peace and Prosperity”.
In the outer ring of Flagpole Monument, there are also 12 inscriptions that denote the names of the victims of the battle of Tjiaterstelling and Soebangstelling. Every inscription is symbolized by weapon or armament. Surrounding this monument there is other inscription: “TER EERBIEDIGE NAGEDACHTENIS AAN DE VELE ONGENOEMDEN DIE HUN LEVEN OFFERDEN EN NIET RUSTEN OP DE EREVELDEN” means “Respect The Memory of Many Victims Who Sacrificed Their Lives and Not Rest on The War Cemeteries”.
“LEENDERT PAAY GEB. 7 – 4 – 1903 ROTTERDAM”
“ELISABETH EVERTS GEB. 30 – 8 – 1920 ‘S-GRAVENHAGE”
“JOHAN GUTLICH GEB. 3 – 8 – 1912 ROTTERDAM”
“FRANCINA GERRESE GEB. 19 – 1 – 1902 VLISSINGEN”
“RUDI BROER VAN DYK GEB. 22 – 5 – 1926 ‘SGRAVENHAGE”Inscription in Book Monument:
”TER NAGEDACHTENIS AAN DE LEDEN VAN EEN GEZELSCHAP DIE TER ONTSPANNING VAN DE TROEPEN TE VELDE VOOR – STELLINGEN VERZORGDEN.
ZIJ KWAMPEN OP 10 FEBRUARI 1948 TE PADALARANG MET ANDEREN BIJ EEN VLIEGONGEVAL OM HET LEVEN IN EEN TOESTEL VAN DE MILITAIRE LUCHVAART VAN HET KNIL”
JAPANESE CONQUEST OF JAVA IN A WEEK!
1ST MARCH 1942: JAPANESE FLEET
Japanese Army fleet in Northern Coast of Java: Merak, Eretan Wetan, and Kragan. The ML-KNIL, RAF, and RAAF attacked from air to ground with Glenn Martins, Hudson, Blenheims, Hurricanes, and Brewster. They started from Kemajoran, Kalidjati, and Tjililitan airfields. However, Japanese Army can reach airfield of Kalidjati anyway.
2ND MARCH 1942: LACK OF KNIL LOGISTIC
Soebang back into the hands of the army KNIL in sudden assault in early morning, but the next assault must be postponed because lack of infantries and logistic.
3TH MARCH 1942: JAPANESE AIR ATTACK TO SOEBANG
KNIL was slowly movement closed to Soebang. Therefore, they suffered the Japanese air attack, they had lack of logistic as well. Finally, KNIL had moved back to Lembang in unsuccessfully mission.
WEDNESDAY 4TH MARCH 1942: KALIDJATI WAS OCCUPIED BY JAPANESE
The Americans went away, leaving behind the B-17 and a few P-40’s were awarded to the Dutch. A stream of refugees came from within Bandoeng Batavia. Other side, Japanese fought back to Kalidjati and this airfield was successfully conquered. The Governor General transferred the duty of Army Commander to Ter Poroten.
THURSDAY, 5TH MARCH 1942: DECLINING THE DEFENSE
Batavia and Buitenzorg were occupied by Japanese, only Soerabaya and Bandoeng were not yet occupied. Japanese moved to the South from Kalidjati to Bandoeng. However, KNIL was so deteriorating, they only shielded the Bandoeng. They occupied Tjiater for preparing the assault defense.
FRIDAY, 6TH MARCH 1942: LAST BATTLE OF KNIL IN TJIATERSTELLING
Japanese assault within good air cooperation result the Tjiater was occupied by Japanese, whereas the Dutch suffered bad communication. 72 POW’s were excecuted at Tjiater of whom only three survived. The main cause for this massacre could be the fierce resistance offered by the 5th Battalion, which delayed the Japanese advance for several hours. All victims were reburied at Bandung cemetery in March 1948, Ereveld Pandu.
SATURDAY, 7TH of MARCH 1942:
Japanese expanded to Lembang, closed to Bandoeng. Many KNIL soldier left their unit of duty, escaping from Bandoeng.
SUNDAY, 8TH MARCH 1942: KALIDJATI CAPITULATION
In Kalidjati Airfield, The Dutch was officially surrendered under the Kalidjati Capitulation, means the end of the emporium that built in hundreds years. End of the story of Dutch Indies.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Almost 25 thousands victims dead for war in Dutch Indies, both of civilian or military. They buried in the seven Dutch War Cemetery [Ereveld] in Java.In the beginning, they burned in 22 war cemeteries which scattered over Indonesia. Between 1946 to 1950 the War Cemeteries was maintained by KNIL. Since sovereignty admission of Repuplic of Indonesia, in 1960s the cemetery was centralized in Java.
However, the cemeteries and monuments inside are not only hold by Dutch history, but Indonesian history as well. A history that told us about what went before, sweet and bitter memories, anyway.
Leaflet by Oorlogsgravenstichting (OGS)
“VAARWEL, TOT BETERE TIJDEN”
By J.C. Bijkerk
Uitgeverij T.Wever b.v., 1973.
Indonesian Edition, Published by Djambatan, 1988.
“BANDOENG, BEELD VAN EEN STAD”
Robert PGA Voskuil, et all, Asia Maior 1996.
Translated in to Indonesian:
“Bandung Citra Sebuah Kota”
Cooperation between Departemen Planologi ITB and Jagaddhita, 2007