The Protestant cemetery

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This cemetery on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah is the oldest Christian cemetery in Penang, dating from 1789. The protestants were buried in the northern section, while the Catholics were in the southern section. This latter section is not accessible, but a glimpse through the gate shows that it is less well looked after. The occupants of the Protestant cemetery represent a broad cross-section of colonial society, ranging from Francis Light (the founder of Penang for the British East India Company), to government officials, townspersons, Chinese refugees from the Taiping Rebellion in China, and prisoners of war. The information board says that around 33% of the identifiable persons memorialised here were aged below 30. Despite the high mortality rate in Penang from malaria and other tropical diseases, members of the British East India Company were often shipped here from India and Java for recuperation!

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© Helen Gray 2020