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     Our Heritage: Marked Historic Sites


1.  Alexandra Hospital

     One of the legacies of the Battle for Pasir Panjang was the massacre at Alexandra Hospital. It took place on 14 & 15 Feb 1942 when Japanese soldiers stormed into the hospital, killing hundreds of innocent people.

2.  Anglo-Chinese School Site (now ACS House)

     Formally opened by Rev. W.F.Oldham on 1 Mar 1886, it was the first link in the chain of Methodist schools throughout Singapore.

3.  Bukit Batok Memorial Site (now Bukit Batok Nature Park)

     Two memorials, one for Japanese soldiers and the other for Allied soldiers sat on this hill-top site. The former, Syonan Chureito, was built by 500 Allied Prisoners-of-War (POWs) while the latter symbolised by a wooden cross, stood behind. Both were demolished by the Japanese before the British returned.

4.  Bukit Timah Battle Site (now Bukit Timah Nature Reserve)

     It marks Lt. General Percival's final defence of southern Singapore against the Japanese invasion from the north. But, with a lack of ammunition and support fire, the defending troops eventually had to give up their positions.

5.  Changi Beach Massacre Site (now Changi Beach Park)

     During the Sook Ching operation in February 1942, this site was one of the first of several where tens of thousands of Chinese, suspected of being anti-Japanese, were executed by the Japanese hojo kempei (auxillary military police).

6.  Chin Kang Huay Kuan

     Established in 1918 by Chinese immigrants from the Jin Jiang county of southern Fujian province. It was the headquarters of the Overseas Chinese Mobilisation Council, formed in 1941 to help Singapore's defence against the Japanese.

7.  Clifford Pier

     Landing point of sea passengers and immigrants who came to seek greener pastures in Singapore. Opened in 1933, it was named after Governor Sir Hugh Charles Clifford of the Straits Settlements.

8.  Commercial Square (now Raffles Place)

     Site of Singapore's first commercial centre, it became the business district for all communities. It also became a premier shopping hub in the later half of the 19th century. Now, a modern skyline of high-rise banking and financial institutions is a distinctive feature of the area.

9.  Dalforce Site (now Woodlands Town Garden)

     The 4th Guards Regiment of the Japanese Imperial Guards mounted their assault from Sungei Skudai in Johore. They initially faced fierce resistance from the defenders which comprised the 27th Australian Brigade and the Dalforce. The latter set fire to the oil flowing from the oil depot in Woodlands, burning many invading soldiers alive and forcing them to retreat deep into the swamps.

10. Ee Hoe Hean Club

     Founded in 1895, it is one of the oldest millionaires' clubs in Singapore. From 1937 to 1942, the club was the centre of the China Salvation Movement in Southeast Asia.

11. Ford Factory Site

     Built by Ford Motor Works in 1941, it was the first motor-car assembly plant in South-east Asia. The signing of the unconditional surrender by Lt-Gen. Percival of the British Forces to Lt-Gen. Yamashita of the Japanese Army on 15 February 1942 took place in the Board Room.

12. Fort Canning Park

     Fort Canning Park sits on Fort Canning Hill, the seat of the Malay Kingdom, Temasek and the burial ground of the Sultans. Sir Stamford Raffles also built his residence, Singapore's first Government House, here. It was on this hill that the Treaty of 1824 between John Crawford and Sultan Hussein was signed. In the treaty, the Sultan ceded the entire Singapore island to the East India Company. Around 1860, the colonial government turned the hill into a military fort bearing the name of Viscount George Canning, the first Viceroy of India.

13. Gan Eng Seng School Site (at junction of Telok Ayer Street and Cecil Street)

     Founded in 1885 by Gan Eng Seng, a philanthropist, it was known initially as Anglo-Chinese Free School. It was one of the first schools to introduce bilingual education.

14. Indian National Army Monument Site (now Esplanade Park)

     Barely two months after its installation, the original memorial for the "Unknown Warrior" of the Indian National Army (INA) was demolished after the British returned to Singapore. The local INA, influenced by Subhas Chandra Bose, was formed in 1942 with Japanese support, with the aim of liberating India from the British. 

15. Japanese Propaganda Department Headquarters Site (now Cathay Building)

     Formerly housing the British Malaya Broadcasting Corporation before WWII, it was turned into a Japanese propaganda office during the Japanese occupation. It was also later used by Lord Louis Mountbatten as the headquarters for the Japanese Surrender in 1945.

16. Jurong-Kranji Defence Site (now Jurong West Neighbourhood Park)

     An arbitrary defence line from Kranji River to Jurong River, placed to check Japanese advance towards the city from the west. Nontheless, misunderstanding of Lt-Gen Percival's battle plans soon led to troop withdrawals, leaving the line undefended.

17. Kallang Airport Site (now People's Association Headquarters)

     Kallang Airport was opened on 12 Jun 1937. By the 1950s, it could no longer cope with the increased air passenger traffic and satisfy the demands of modern civil aviation. It was closed after the official opening of Paya Lebar Airport on 20 Aug 1955. On 1 Jul 1960, the People's Association took over it as the main building of its headquarters.

18. Kempeitai East District Branch Site (now Orchard Road YMCA)

     The original building, pulled down in 1981, was used by the East Branch of the Kempeitai (Japanese Military Police) during the Japanese Occupation. Local anti-Japanese suspects were imprisoned and tortured for information here.

19. Kranji Beach Battle Site (now Kranji Reservoir Park)

     It was here on 9 Feb 1942 that the Japanese Forces suffered a major loss, fighting against the valiant 27th Australian Brigade and the Dalforce. However, due to a miscommunication of battle plans, the brigade subsequently withdrew southwards, letting the Japanese establish a stronghold at Woodlands.

20. Labrador Battery Site (now Labrador Park)

     One of the surviving gun emplacements in Singapore today. The battery has two 6" 16-ton guns facing south, which aided the Malay Regiment in the Battle for Pasir Panjang by firing high explosive shells at the advancing Japanese troops along the coastal road.

21. Machine-Gun Pillbox (at Pasir Panjang Road)

     This pillbox is located within the WWII defence sector of the 1st Malaya Brigade. It was probably used by the Malay Regiment, in defence of Pasir Panjang Ridge, against the advancing Japanese 18th Division troops.

22. Methodist Girls' School Site

     Founded in 1887 by Miss Sophia Blackmore, an Australian missionary, the school began as Tamil Girls' School in Short Street with an enrolment of 9 Indian girls. 

23. Orchard Road Presbyterian Church  see picture

     In 1856, Mackenzie Fraser, a Presbyterian Minister from Scotland, began his Church missionary in Singapore, using the Missionary Chapel for services. In 1875, a Presbyterian congregation secured this site to build a Presbyterian church.

24. Pasir Panjang Battle Site (now Kent Ridge Park)

     In mid-February 1942, a fierce two-day battle led by 2nd Lt. Adnan of the Malay Regiment against the Japanese troops took place here. It was one of the last battles for Singapore and the ridge was given up only when the regiment bravely fought till its last few men. 

25. Punggol Beach Massacre Site

     On 28 February 1942, some 400 Chinese civilians, victims of the Sook Ching purge, were killed by the Japanese hojo kempei on this northeastern shore.

26. Raffles Girls' School Site  See picture

     Established on 4 Mar 1844, Raffles Girls' School first functioned as a moral development and vocational training class at the Singapore Institution. In 1928, it moved to a new building at Queen Street, which was occupied by the Japanese during the war.

27. Raffles Institution Site (now Raffles City)  See picture

     The first school in Singapore, it was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles on 5 Jun 1823. It was originally known as "The Institution".

28. Raffles' Landing Site  See picture

     A replica of the original bronze statue of Sir Stamford Raffles marks the site where Raffles was thought to have landed on 29 January 1819.

29. Sarimbun Beach Battle Site

     On 8 Feb 1942, Japanese forces first landed in Singapore on the beach. As a result of clever deception by the Japanese who placed heavy artillery attack on the island's north, northwestern Sarimbun was weakly defended, and eventually succumbed to the invading forces.

30. Selarang Camp Site (now Selarang Park)

     Built in 1936, Selarang Barracks housed the Allied Prisoners Of War (POWs) who refused to sign the Japanese "No Escape Pledge". 4 POWs who tried to escape were taken to Changi Beach and executed on 2 Sep 1942.

31. Sentosa Beach Massacre Site (now Serapong Golf Course, Sentosa Island)

     British gunners buried some 300 bullet-ridden corpses washed ashore Pulau Blakang Mati, now known as Sentosa. They were Chinese civilians, bound and transported from the Tanjong Pagar docks to surrounding waters for execution at sea by Japanese soldiers.

32. Sime Road Army Camp

     Site of the Army and Air Force Operational Headquarters during WWII. Here, Commanding Officer Lt-Gen Percival conducted the Malaya Campaign and the Battle for Singapore. However, it ahd to be abandoned on 11 Feb 1942 when the Japanese Army proved too strong for the Allied Forces.

33. Singapore Chinese Girls' School Site

     Opened in 1899 under the auspices of a group of Straits Chinese, including Sir SONG Ong Siang and Dr LIM Boon Keng. The Emerald Hill Site, which housed the school from 1925 to 1944, was the grounds of Dr LIM Boon Keng's family home.

34. Singapore Cricket Club  See picture

     Singapore's second oldest surviving club was founded in 1852, comprising the members of the colonial elite. Over the years, membership has increased and has been extended to Singaporeans and expatriates alike.

Source: Preservation of Monuments Board




  The Syonan Jinja, a WWII Japanese Shinto shrine located deep in the jungle surrounding MacRitchie Reservoir, has been marked as a historic site by the National Heritage Board (NHB). (Straits Times 17 Sep 2002)

  UE Square, the site of the original four-storey office of renowned engineering firm United Engineers, has been marked a historic site by the National Heritage Board. The site, at the junction of River Valley Road and Clemenceau Avenue, is the 65th site marked by the board since 1995. (Straits Times 31 Jul 2002) (H6)

  The historic MacDonald House in Orchard Road is being put up for sale by tender today. The 10-storey freehold building has a total net lettable area of about 78,600 sq ft. Built in 1949, MacDonald House was the first building in Malaya to be fully air-conditioned and was bombed in March 1965 during the Konfrontasi period. (Straits Times 5 Apr 2002) (S10)

  The Johore Battery site was yesterday marked as a historic site. Built in 1935, the battery was part of the island's coastal defence against Japanese invaders during World War II. It was sealed up when the British forces left Singapore in 1971 and discovered 10 years ago by the Singapore Prison Service when the disused area was being cleared. Visitors to the site will be allowed to tour its underground tunnels in six months' time. (Straits Times 16 Feb 2002)(H5)

  The Johore Battery at Changi, built in 1939 to defend Singapore, has been marked as a historic site and will open to the public next Friday to tell the story of the British defence of Singapore. The day falls on the 60th anniversary of Singapore's surrender to the Japanese. (Straits Times 8 Feb 2002) H4)