A team from the Lamongan administration has excavated a grave, reported to be the burial site of three Dutch navy personnel killed in a World War II battle in the Java Sea, in Brondong subdistrict last week.
It is suspected that the remains belong to navy personnel of the Netherlands’ De Ruyter warship that sank during a battle against a Japanese warship in the Java Sea. The battle reportedly claimed the lives of more than 1,000 Dutch soldiers.
Brondong subdistrict head Sariono said the excavation took place at a local cemetery belonging to Suko residents in Sedayu Lawas village in Lamongan, East Java.
Representatives from the Foreign Ministry and the Netherlands Embassy attended the excavation, he went on. "The bones were later handed to the East Java Police to be examined," Sariono told The Jakarta Post.
The presence of the grave in Sedayu Lawas village is related to the remnants of the De Ruyter warship found in the waters surrounding Bawean Island in Gresik, East Java.
“Skeletons were found scattered around the ship's remnants when it was found by a company seeking undersea metal debris,” said Sariono.
“Some of the remains were left in the sea while the rest had been buried in the public cemetery in Suko.
Previously, the Dutch government had lodged a protest to the Indonesian government after remnants of the country’s sunken warship in the Java Sea were reportedly stolen. The Dutch government is waiting for an explanation about the stolen remnants from the De Ruyter warship. With thanks to Kevin Boatman Foster