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7 places to learn about Singapore's World War II history
Lest we forget.
By Where Singapore Staff | May 11, 2017
At the foot of what was once known as Opium Hill, this black and white bungalow stands as a memorial to the men of Askar Melayu, or the Malay Regiment. In 1942, soldiers held out against the Japanese, resorting to hand-to-hand combat when ammunition ran out. Admission costs $2.
31K Pepys Rd., 6375-2510, S(118458). MRT: HarbourFront.
This museum is dedicated to the prisoners of war (POWs) held captive at Changi Prison during the Japanese Occupation from 1942 to 1945. You’ll find a collection of artworks, photographs, and personal artifacts donated by former POWs. The chapel in the museum’s courtyard is a replica of the makeshift chapels used by the POWs.
1000 Upper Changi Rd. North, 6214-2451, S(507707). MRT: Tanah Merah.
Former Ford Factory
Housed in the site of Singapore’s surrender to Japanese forces in WWII, the exhibition Surviving the Japanese Occupation: War and its Legacies is a collection of images, artifacts and stories from the war years. The gardens around it are filled with plants and trees that provided Singaporeans with sustenance during the occupation. Admission costs $3.
351 Upper Bukit Timah Rd., 6462-6724, S(588192). MRT: Bukit Batok.
Fort Canning Park
The hill was once a fort complete with military barracks (now Fort Canning Centre), an underground bunker (now The Battle Box) and an arms store, and played an important role in defending our island during WWII. There is also a 9-pound cannon on site.
70 River Valley Rd., 6332-1200, S(179618). MRT: Dhoby Ghaut.
War Memorial Park
Located in the city center, this park is built around the Civilian War Memorial, known colloquially as “The Chopsticks” because of its shape. It pays tribute to the civilians killed during the Japanese Occupation from 1942 to 1945. Human remains exhumed from mass graves in the 1960s were re-buried under the four soaring columns, which represent the four major ethnic groups in Singapore. Admission is free.
Intersection of Bras Basah Rd. and Beach Rd., S(189701). MRT: Esplanade.
The low-rise buildings and tunnels found on Sentosa were part of a British Army outpost which used to guard Singapore’s southwestern approaches. The barracks, warehouses and pillboxes remain intact and the tunnels give an idea of the tiny confines soldiers had to endure back in the day. Admission costs $12.
Siloso Point, 33 Allanbrook Rd., Sentosa Island, S(099981). MRT: HarbourFront.
Kranji War Memorial
The Kranji War Memorial signifies the end of the road for thousands of servicemen who fought in WWII. The names of over 24,000 soldiers—whose bodies were never found—are inscribed on the walls of the main building, and more than 5,000 soldiers lie beneath its lawns.
9 Woodlands Rd., S(738656). MRT: Kranji.