On 15 February 2020, it will be 78 years since the fall of Singapore to the Japanese during World War II. This year, to remember the past and provide different perspectives on this dark period of Singapore’s history, National Heritage Board will be organising Battle for Singapore 2020 programmes which will include guided tours to less well-known historic sites from 8 to 29 February 2020.
Instead of prominent war sites such as Fort Canning Park, Fort Siloso and the former Ford Factory at Upper Bukit Timah, this year’s Battle for Singapore 2020 programmes will include places such as the Former Admiralty House and Former View Road Hospital. In total, there are 74 guided tours being organised for the public in February 2020.
Some highlights of the Battle for Singapore 2020 programmes include:
Former Admiralty House & Bunker Tour (18 and above only)
Located at the top of a hill, the Former Admiralty House, now Canberra House, was used by built to provide a commanding view of the surrounding area. It was used to accommodate key military commanders in Singapore. During the tour led by Dr John Kwok and the National University of Singapore History Society, participants will learn about Singapore’s strategic position during World War II and the stories behind the building. They will also be able to enter an underground bunker from World War II.
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The Former Admiralty House & Bunker tour is only open to participants who are 18 years old and above.
Date: 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23 February 2020
Time: 10 am to 11.30 am, 2 pm to 3.30 pm
Former View Road Hospital Tour (18 and above only)
Previously, the View Road Hospital served as the Naval Base Police Force accommodation and a branch of the Woodbridge Hospital. It is now believed to date back World War II, serving as part of the Japanese defences for Singapore during the occupation. Participants on this tour will be able to uncover its history from that period.
The Former View Road Hospital tours is only open to participants who are 18 years old and above.
Date: 8*, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23 February 2020
Time: 10 am to 11.30 am, 2 pm to 3.30 pm (*10 am only)
Former Command House Tour
Hidden away along Kheam Hock Road, the Former Command House played an important role in Singapore’s military history. Preservation of Sites and Monuments volunteer guides will take participants on a tour to discover the stories behind the building.
Date: 8, 16 February 2020
Time: 1 pm to 2 pm
Changi Prison Entrance Gate, Walls and Turrets Tour
The Changi Prison Entrance Gate, Walls and Turrets are usually off limits to visitors. On 15 February 2020, join a special tour led by Preservation of Sites and Monuments to access this monument. Learn about the hardship endured by Prisoners-of-War and experiences during the Japanese Occupation.
Date: 15 February 2020
Time: 9 am to 9.45 am, 10 am to 10.45 am
Lest We Forget Tour
Join guides on a walk around the Civic District to learn about the memorials dedicated to the heroes of Singapore. The tour will start at the Civilian War Memorial and end at the Lim Bo Seng War Memorial.
Date: 22, 23 February 2020
Time: 4 pm to 5.30 pm
Botanic Gardens to Bukit Brown Tour
Follow the guides on a walk from Botanic Gardens to Bukit Brown cemetery. During this Battle for Singapore 2020, learn about the personalities behind landmarks such as Jacob Ballas Children’s Gardens and Raffles College. Make a stop at the Former Command House and learn about kampong life in the Bukit Brown area. This tour is led by All Things Bukit Brown.
Date: 15, 16 February 2020
Time: 8 am to 11.30 am
Battle of Singapore Tours at Sentosa
Discover Sentosa’s military past with tours around its former military installations. Find out about the role which Sentosa played and its historic sites such as Fort Siloso, Fort Serapon and Mount Imbiah Battery.
Date: 8, 15 February 2020
Time: 3 pm to 4.30 pm
Venue: Fort Siloso (Meeting Point: Fort Siloso Skywalk Lift Lobby)
Date: 22 February 2020
Time: 10 am to 11.30 am
Venue: Fort Serapong (Meeting Point: Sentosa Cove Village Bus Stop)
Date: 22 February 2020
Time: 3 pm to 4.30 pm
Venue: Mount Imbiah Battery (Meeting Point: Imbiah Lookout Bus Stop)
More Battle of Singapore 2020 Programmes
Other tours and activities being held as part of Battle of Singapore 2020 programmes include Battle of Singapore Tours at Eurasian Heritage Gallery, tours of the Surviving Syonan Gallery at National Museum of Singapore, tours of Adam Park and more.
For more details and to register, go to www.museums.com.sg