Want to find out more about Singapore during World War II? Interested to gain insights on the impact of the war on Singapore? There are various World War II museums and sites in Singapore where one can get an appreciation of the turmoil of World War II and sacrifices made by many.
Here are some World War II museums and sites in Singapore that provide a compelling story of what took place 80 years ago.
World War II Museums in Singapore
Fort Siloso, on the western tip of Sentosa, provides a look at the preparations the British made for the defence of Singapore. This coastal fort was fitted out with guns designed to ward off a seafront attack and even took part in the sinking of a Japanese boat. You can explore various tunnel complexes that were dug into the hillside and view exhibits what life was like soldiers stationed at Fort Siloso. The Surrender Chambers at Fort Siloso provides a glimpse into the British surrender to the Japanese and the Japanese surrender at the end of the war.
Fort Pasir Panjang
Located at Labrador Nature Reserve, Fort Pasir Panjang and Labrador Battery is the sister fort to Fort Siloso. It is less well preserved than Fort Siloso and most of it has been taken back by the forest. However, you can explore find the gun emplacements facing out to sea and view a six-inch gun.
Reflections at Bukit Chandu
Housed in a two-story colonial bungalow, the recently revamped Reflections at Bukit Chandu tells the story of the Malay Regiment that defended Pasir Panjang Ridge. Through exhibits and artefacts, you can learn about the actions of the brave men who gave their lives in the fight that ensued in the nearby area, as well as the history of the hill known as Opium Hill.
Dug into Fort Canning Hill, the Battlebox was used as a British command post during the final days before the fall of Singapore. Now, you can pay a visit into the command bunker, view how it operated and learn about the fateful morning when the decision was made by Lt. General Percival to surrender Singapore to the invading Japanese army.
Former Ford Factory
The Former Ford Factory is a significant World War 2 museum and site in Singapore. From Fort Canning Hill, the British surrender party drove down Bukit Timah Road to the factory where the Japanese army had its headquarters. Today, you can visit the gallery and learn about the events that took place there on 15 February 1942 and life in Singapore after the occupation.
The Changi Chapel and Museum
This sombre World War 2 museum in Singapore provides a look at life the war years through personal accounts of those who lived through those times at the recently revamped Changi Chapel and Museum.
World War II Museums and Sites in Singapore
Built during the late 1930s, the Johore Battery was the main artillery battery of the British coastal artillery defence network on the north-eastern coast of Singapore. It saw action against the Japanese artillery that had been set up at Pulau Ubin, as well as advancing troops from the West. Find out more about the Johore Battery.
Sarimbun Beach Landing Site
It was a Sunday night, 8 February 1942, when the Imperial Japanese Army started to make their way across the Straits of Johore towards Singapore in small boats, landing at Serimbun beach. Today, a marker stands at the site to remember that fateful night and the start of the Battle for Singapore.
Kranji Beach Battle Site
On the morning of 10 February 1942, the Imperial Japanese Army assaulted Kranji Beach to secure a second beachhead for the invasion of Singapore. It was defended by Australian and DALFORCE volunteers. At first, the Australian 27th Brigade was inflicting heavy losses on the Japanese but they inexplicably decided to withdraw, allowing the Japanese Imperial Guards Division to establish a second beachhead.
Jurong-Kranji Defence Line
Looking out of place amongst the playground equipment and the sports facilities at the Jurong Spring neighbourhood is a heritage marker. The marker stands as a reminder of the time when the area was to be the fall back defence line. This was where the 22nd Australian Brigade retreated to after the Japanese had overwhelm their position by the coast. However, miscommunication led to the troops being withdrawn from the area, leaving the area undefended and open to the Japanese advance.
Kranji War Memorial
Kranji War Memorial is the final resting place for more than 4,400 men and women who died during World War 2 in Singapore. It is a poignant spot to visit on the WW2 trail in Singapore and teaches us that history ought not repeat itself. Find out more about the Kranji War Memorial.
Civilian War Memorial
Built after the war and unveiled in 1967, the Civilian War Memorial pays tribute to the civilians who lost their lives during the Japanese Occupation. It consists of four towers reaching skyward, each representing one of the official races of Singapore. Find out more about the Civilian War Memorial.