There are six Common Wealth war cemeteries in Sri lanka maintained by Ministry of Defense on behalf of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The Trincomalee War Cemetery is the only British war cemetery located in the north east of Sri Lanka. The cemetery was built for the armed forces of the British Empire who were killed in action during World War II. The cemetery is sited on the Nilaveli Road, around six kilometers north of Trincomalee town. Years before the Second World War the British who occupied Trincomalee then, had built a large airfield and fuel storage tanks for the Royal Navy and HMS Highflyer naval base based there. The Trincomalee port was previously used as a naval base by the British. The port and its surroundings were attacked by the Japanese air force in April 1942. A British combat ship in the harbor was destroyed by the attack killing 368 soldiers and injuring many others. It is said that the corpses which could not be taken back to Britain were buried here.