Stanley Military Cemetery is located near St. Stephen Bay in Stanley, Hong Kong. It is the only military cemetery (aside from the bigger Hong Kong (Happy Valley) Cemetery) of the early colonial era, used for the burials of the members of the garrison and their families between 1841 and 1866. There were no further burials here until the second world war.
The cemetery is roughly triangular in shape and stands on ground rising sharply from the road side. It is approached by a flight of steps leading up to the Cross of Sacrifice with steep grassy slopes on either side.
On December 8, 1941, Japan launched the invasion on Hong Kong, which resulted in the British surrendering on Christmas Day of that year. Stanley Village was one of the last battlefields of the defence. The Royal Rifles of Canada, many elements of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps, and sections from the Middlesex were stationed there. Fighting occurred in the cemetery itself on the afternoon of Christmas Day, when D Company Royal Rifles of Canada tried to force the advancing Japanese from Bungalow C.
At the British surrender, the majority of the western civilians in Hong Kong were confined at Stanley Internment Camp, which included the grounds of St Stephen's College and the warders accommodation of the prison (which is now Stanley Prison of Hong Kong); while the military personnel were sent to either North Point Camp, Shum Shui Po POW camp, Ma Tau Chung camp and Argyle Street Camp. Due to the lack of food and medical drugs in the camp, many people died at Stanley and were buried here at the time. Those "raw graves" are still preserved in their original shape. Following the Japanese surrender, many other wartime fatalities from this part of Hong Kong were also re-interred in the cemetery.