The Bhowanipore Cemetery is a km from the southern end of the Calcutta Maidan and is enclosed by a high wall, and has come to be known as a popular tourist spot and visiting place in the last two decades. The war plot of the cemetery is at the rear of the civilian cemetery, some 200 meters from the main entrance of the cemetery. The Opening hours are 9 am to 4 pm. Wheelchair access to the cemetery is an added feature and is possible to if one enters the cemetery from the main entrance where the facility is provided.
This civilian cemetery has been in use since 1864 and many of the earlier burials of service personnel and their dependents have been made from the nearby garrison at Fort William, from which the cemetery initially took its name. But the cemetery has been given an official recognition in the year 1907, after which within the next decade, burials of the First World War began here. Thus, if looked at the entrance to the cemetery, the gate bears the year 1907 as the date of establishment.
During the Second World War, various establishments important to the war effort were posted to Calcutta and a general hospital called No. 47 was established there from January 1943 to the beginning of February 1945.
Originally, the graves were in denominational plots throughout the cemetery, war graves and civilian graves indiscriminately mingled thus making identification and visits rather cumbersome. In 1954, the church authorities decided that it would be necessary to clear certain plots and the outlying war graves were moved by the Commission into the area with the largest number of war burials. This now forms a separate service section containing the graves of both the World wars. The other section that houses within it the Commonwealth burials has a small wall and gate that separates it, and the gate reads, “Commonwealth War Graves”.
The Bhowanipore Cemetery contains 95 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, including one brought in from Fort Chingrikhali Cemetery in 1934. Whereas it contains a staggering 617 graves from the Second Wolrd War. It is under the care and protection of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Commission also has taken the responsibility for protecting and preserving the 233 non-war burials in the cemetery.