HMAS Anzac personnel stand at ease during the 2023 dawn service at Kranji War Memorial

Kranji War Memorial and Cemetery, sitting quietly near the border of Malaysia, 22km from the heart of Singapore, is not what instantly comes to mind when we think of places to visit on the island, but holds immense significance. It honours the men and women from Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Canada, Sri Lanka, India, Malaya, and the Netherlands who died in the line of duty in the region during World War II. 

During World War II, many Prisoners of War hospitals set up a small cemetery in the area, which was then turned into a permanent war cemetery by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It was officially opened on 2 March 1957. The cemetery contains almost 4,500 headstones. The Singapore Memorial has the names of 24,000 missing personnel inscribed on its walls – the war dead with no known graves. 

The Singapore Memorial was designed by Colin St Clair Oakes and captures all three services in the design. There are columns representing the Army in ranks, the Air Force is represented with the roof shaped like the wings of an airplane, and the Navy with a conning tower on a submarine.

HMAS Anzac Commanding Officer Commander David McPherson and Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Samuel Corcoran lay a wreath during the 2023 Anzac Day dawn service at Kranji War Memorial

Remembering the fallen

Major commemorative ceremonies that are held annually at Kranji War Cemetery include Remembrance Sunday, which takes place on the Sunday closest to Remembrance Day (11 November), and ANZAC Day (25 April). 

Other significant events are staged there such as the commemoration of the Fall of Singapore and – coming up in 2025 – the 80th commemoration of the Operation Rimau raid which ended in disaster for the famous Z Special Unit Commandos in 1944. Thirteen Commandos were killed in action or died in captivity. The trial and execution of 10 Commandos on 7 July 1945 was tragically only one month before the end of the War in the Pacific.

Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore holds a deep and enduring significance for us. It serves as a sacred resting place for those who made the ultimate sacrifice, a symbol of shared history with Commonwealth nations and a space for reflection and remembrance. When Australians and New Zealanders continue to visit Kranji, they ensure that the legacy of those who served lives on, and the lessons of history remain etched in the collective memory of our nations. We encourage you to explore this very special place of remembrance right on our doorstep here on the red dot. 

Join ANZA Tours for the ANZAC Day Dawn Service

Join the Australian and New Zealand communities in Singapore as we gather at the Kranji War Memorial Cemetery to commemorate the 108th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, hosted by the Australian High Commission. Taking place on Thursday 25 April, ANZA Tours are providing buses that will depart Newton Food Centre car park and then leave the cemetery, returning to Newton. Please note that due to parking restraints, we will need to walk about one kilometre up a gentle hill to reach the ceremony. Click here for further details and to secure your place.


Australian High Commission Singapore

25 Napier Road, Singapore, 258507 | Tel 6836 4100 | Fax 6737 5481