This week marks the 80th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore to the Japanese. To commemorate this, The National Heritage Board’s annual Battle For Singapore initiative is on again now from 6 March with a host of guided tours and talks featuring stories and places that relate to Singapore’s experience during the Second World War (WWII). Read on for details and book up quickly as spots are going fast.
Alexandra Hospital Tour
Take a guided walk in the historic campus of Alexandra Hospital at 378 Alexandra Road. On this tour you’ll learn about the hospital’s beginnings under British colonial administration as well as its fate shortly before Singapore fell on 15 February 1945. Find out what happened after the Japanese Occupation and see long-standing structures while listening to stories from veterans and their families.
When: 19, 26 February Times: 10-11am, 1-2pm Cost: $5 Registration: bsg2022-ah.peatix.com
WWII Japanese Administration in Singapore
Join this tour to learn more about the WWII history of some of the buildings in the Civic District and the different nodes of the Japanese administration that were set up in Singapore under the Japanese Occupation. During this hour-long walk you will also be introduced to some of the figures who shaped the lives of Singaporeans during the war and learn about the Japanese plan to transform the city into a “nerve centre” of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
When: 20, 27 February Time: 4pm – 5pm Cost: $5 Registration: bsg2022-ww2ja.peatix.com
Singapore Occupied Walking Tour
Eighty years ago, Singapore’s people lived under Japanese rule for more than three years. Find out how they lived during those tumultuous days, through a visit to the buildings and sites that held the Japanese Broadcasting Department, the Kempeitai (Japanese Military Police) Headquarters, Syonan Museum, Victoria Street Girls’ School, and Bras Basah Boys’ School. Monuments and historic sites covered include the former Cathay Building (now The Cathay), former Saint Joseph’s Institution (now Singapore Art Museum), YMCA Building and the National Museum of Singapore (where the exhibition Dislocations: Memory & Meaning of the Fall of Singapore takes place until May).
When: 5, 6 March Time: 5pm – 6.30pm Cost: $5 Registration: bsg2022-sgoccupied.peatix.com
Bukit Brown (Hills 3 and 4)
Join Peter Pak of All Things Bukit Brown as he takes you on an exploration of Bukit Brown and hear stories of tragedy (the sinking of a ship that led to the deaths of many women and children) and of betrayal (leading to the death of the King’s Medal recipient whose ashes were only returned 11 years later and given a hero’s burial). You’ll also learn of Chinese leaders who were forced to collaborate with the Japanese under duress, or who did so to survive or reap personal gain.
When: 19 February Time: 9am – 11.30am Cost: $5 Registration: bsg2022-bb34.peatix.com.
Battle of Bukit Brown / Mount Pleasant
The tour follows the course of the battles on 14-15 February 1942 as the Japanese 5th Division attempted to capture the MacRitchie Reservoir area and attack south through Bukit Brown and Mount Pleasant, which were defended by the British 18th Division.
When: 20 February Time: 8am – 11.30am Cost: $5 Registration: bsg2022-bbmp.peatix.com
Twinned Tour: Tour of Changi Chapel & Museum and Old Changi Hospital
Uncover stories of World War II (WWII) in Singapore and the experience of prisoners of war (POWs) during the Japanese Occupation (1942-1945) in this special twinned tour of the Changi Chapel and Museum (CCM) and the Old Changi Hospital. Uncover the former hospital’s past as a military installation and a POW camp and get a glimpse of the war history behind the Changi Point area.
When: 19 February Times: 9.30-11.45am, 10.45am – 1pm (two different sessions)
Cost: $20 Registration: ccm1-och22.peatix.com
179 Piccadilly Tour
You’ll gain valuable insights into Singapore’s pre-war aviation history, including the lesser-known stories of the airbase at Seletar and its role during the war against the Japanese army.
Dates: 12*, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 February, and 5, 6* March (*afternoon session only)
Times: 10am – 11.30am, 2pm-3.30pm Tickets: $10 Registration: bsg2022.peatix.com
WWII Walking Tour by Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital Heritage Gallery
This walking tour takes you from Lavender MRT all the way to Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital to learn about the fascinating wartime stories from the neighborhood. You’ll even be pointed to the spot where Lee Kuan Yew was believed to have hidden from the Japanese soldiers.
When: 20 February [English Tour] Dates: 26 February, 5 March [Mandarin Tour] Time: 9am – 11am Cost: $5 Registration: bsg2022-kwsh.peatix.com
Adam Park was the site of the last battle for Singapore and the place where the British succeeded in holding the line against the Japanese right up to the time of the surrender on 15 February 1942. After the surrender, the site was used as a Prisoners-of-War camp.
When: 26 February Time: 9am – 11.30am Cost: $5 Registration: bsg2022-bbmp.peatix.com
Interactive Storytelling: Timmy & Tammy Talking to Grandpa about the War
In this storytelling session based on the popular children’s book Timmy & Tammy Talking to Grandpa about the War, children will learn about banana money and food ration cards that were used during the Japanese Occupation in Singapore, and speak with Great Grandma, who lived through WWII. After the session, explore the Surviving Syonan gallery in your own time.
When: 12 March Time: 10.15am, 2pm, 3.30pm (45 mins per session) Location: The Salon (Level 1), National Museum of Singapore Cost: $10. Registration: familyfunnms.peatix.com