The cemetery contains the graves of 6,374 soldiers who died in the Second World War, the graves of 52 soldiers who died in Burma during the First World War, and memorial pillars with the names of over 27,000 Commonwealth soldiers who died in Burma during the Second World War but who have no known grave. There are 867 graves that contain the remains of unidentified soldiers. It is one of the most visited and high rated war sites of all Asia.
The cemetery was opened in 1951 and the remains of Commonwealth soldiers who died in Meiktila, Akyab (Sittwe), Mandalay, and Sahmaw were transferred here and the graves are grouped together by these battles. A large number of the 27,000 names of Commonwealth soldiers are of the Indian Army and African soldiers who fought and died in Burma. Of the total, 1,819 graves are Indian soldiers.
Seven holders of the Victoria Cross (VC) are interred at this site and the names of several (including five Indian VC holders) are inscribed on the Rangoon Memorial. The interred soldiers are:
Other notable people buried there include:
Also inscribed, in English, Hindi, Urdu, Gurmukhi, and Burmese, on the Rangoon Memorial are the words they died for all free men. The Taukkyan Cremation Memorial, also at the site, commemorates more than 1000 soldiers who were cremated according to their faith.