Explore > Culture & Heritage > Monuments

Lim Bo Seng Memorial

By: joyceho on 15 Jun 2012
Right at the heart of Singapore's historical area, tucked between the colonial Old Parliament House, Old Supreme Court and The Esplanade lies the Lim Bo Seng Memorial.

Today, the pagoda memorial stands as a continual reminder of the price that Lim Bo Seng and other likeminded war veterans paid in order for Singapore to become what it is today - free and independent. A Major General, anti-Japanese resistance fighter and national war hero Lim Bo Seng who was tortured to death by the Japanese during World War II. The pagoda-shaped memorial with four bronze lions guard the marble monument was unveiled on 29 June 1954, commemorating the tenth anniversary of Lim Bo Seng's death.

When the Second Sino-Japanese war broke out, Lim Bo Seng was actively involved raising funds and boycotting of Japanese goods. Upon Japanese invasion to Singapore, Lim Bo Seng fled to Sumatra, and then to India and Chongqing, China recruiting and training secret agents and the setting up of a Sino-British guerilla group 'Force 136'. Lim Bo Seng continued working with Force 136 formed an espionage network in Malaya to gather Japanese military intelligence, sending secret messages through empty toothpaste tubes and salted fish. He was caught later alongside several other members while disguising as a businessmen to Perak, exposed by a spy working for both Force 136, the Japanese and the British. He was sent to the Kempeitai headquarters when he was interrogated and subjected to all sorts of physical and mental torture. In spite of that, Lim refused to provide any leads on Force 136 and died bedridden in prison. His relentless dedication to the cause remained clearly reflected in his final letter to his wife and children read 'You must not grieve for me. You should take pride in my sacrifice and devote yourself to upbringing of the children. Tell them what happened to me and direct them to my footsteps'. 

Lim Bo Seng's wife, Madam Choo Neo, learnt of his death only after Japanese surrendered and travelled to Batu Gajah, Perak to collect the remains of her late husband. A daring brave soul who fought till the bitter end, Major General Lim Bo Seng was buried with military honours. This monument precedes the previous memorial which was built over his grave in MacRitchie Reservoir in 27 June 1952. Pay homage to this well-loved war hero, whose memorial is located at the Anderson Bridge end of the Esplanade Park.

You must be logged in to add a tip