World War II sites in Singapore


Singapore was taken over by the Japanese on February 15, 1942. Lieutenant General Arthur Percival himself signed a truce agreement with the Japanese surrendering Singapore into their hands. Since that day, the people of Singapore faced the repercussions. The monuments and other sites still mark the misery that they underwent. The following are some sites that depict the horror of World War II even to this day.

City Wall:

Previously known as the Municipality, City Hall is one of the most prominent sites in Singapore. Erstwhile, it was the home of two of the eminent personalities – Dr. William Montgomery of the East India Company and Thomas Church. It holds the focal point of many important events in the history of Singapore. A municipal committee was set up in 1851 which was presided over by Thomas Church. Indian leader, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose visited the place on October 24, 1942 during the time of Japanese Occupation. He addressed the people in order to gain support for the Indian National Army. Later on, the Japanese force surrendered here in the presence of Lord Louis Mountbatten.

Also, a martyr named Lim Bo Seng was paid tribute on the steps of City Hall. Singapore was also declared a City under the same roof. Also, self-government was proclaimed on the City Hall steps Lee Kuan Yew and the first mayor swore his oath.For Singaporeans, this site holds a very significant position. It has been home to almost every Constitutional development that took place in Singapore. The National Rally day is also observed at the same spot along with Singapore’s President, Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers.

Alexandra Hospital:

This is a very important site for the World in general and Singapore in particular. The patients and staff who were present then at the time of the Japanese Occupation suffered the brutalities of the Japanese to a large degree. The Japanese forces massacred almost 600 patients and staff on February 14, 1942.

A mass grave is built within the hospital compound in order to pay a tribute to the victims. A book has also been placed in the hospital since the Japanese evaded the state. This book contains the names of all the people who died on that day.

St. Andrews Cathedral:

Like the City Hall, it was built by G.D. Coleman. The drawback with his construction was that it looked similar to some previously built churches. It was also hit by lightning twice. Later on, the church was rebuilt by Colonel Ronald MacPhearson. He used a special technique to build the rock solid walls of the church.

A special mixture combining shell lime, egg white, sugar, water and coconut husks was used. Later on, it was rubbed with rock crystals and powdered with fine soapstone. This construction is one of its kinds.The church played a major role in catering to the wounded and needy at the time of Japanese violence. When the hospitals and clinics were crammed with people and there was not enough space, this church provided shelter. The Cathedral’s nave was used for this purpose. Daily prayers and communion services took place without much obstacle even during the harsh times of the World War II.

Fort Siloso, Sentosa

This fort holds a very crucial location for Singapore’s defence. Before the Japanese invasion during the World War II, this fort maintained an intricate system of arms and ammunitions to guards its boundaries. When the Japanese came, they took over this place of land and used it for prisoners-of war camps. This fort was also used by the Royal Navy in 1946.

Presently, the fort stores guns and artilleries of various kinds. It has a museum which displays various guns and artilleries, showcasing their history. The fort still maintains its crucial position in terms of Singapore Armed Forces and Civil Defence.

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