Feature Articles

70th Anniversary of the Battle of Singapore

By: yuhang on 02 Mar 2012
'by their stubborn defence of the Pasir Panjang Ridge at the height of the Battle of Singapore, (the Malay Regiment) set an example of steadfastness and endurance which will become a great tradition in the Regiment and an inspiration for the future generations.'

- Lieutenant General Arthur Percival

In the Battle of Singapore, 2LT Adnan bin Saidi, a soldier from the Royal Malay Regiment, led a platoon in the defense of Bukit Chandu at Pasir Panjang. Adnan refused to surrender amid heavy enemy shelling and despite supply shortages held off the Japanese for two days. Eventually, Adnan was shot but carried on valiantly until he succumbed to his injury.

The Malay Regiment’s resilience is immortalized in the exhibits of Reflections at Bukit Chandu, a WWII interpretative centre which stands near the site of the Battle of Pasir Panjang. 2012 marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle in Singapore, and to commemorate the event, the National Heritage Board (NHB) and partners will be organizing a series of events through the year.

From Reflections, venture to Canopy Walk, a part of the Southern Ridges that links Bukit Chandu to Kent Ridge Park. This year, the NHB will launch 3 new WWII history trails, including one along the Southern Ridges that leads from Kent Ridge Park to the old Keppel Harbor, tracing the route of the Japanese invasion in this part of Singapore. These Resilience Walks, named so to exemplify the resilience put up the defenders of Singapore, will feature historical markers which bring to life the events which happened at the very ground visitors will cover.


Another walk takes the traveller on a tour of the Colonial District leading from Fort Canning to the Padang, which follows Singapore’s history from the 14th century to the present. The third walk whisks you away to Changi, bringing you to the scenic Changi Boardwalk and Changi Museum.

Guided tours are offered for all the walks, but more intrepid souls can also download the free ‘Battle for Singapore’ mobile application and journey to explore Singapore’s World War II history. The application will provide an interesting companion as it guides you through a selection of four different trails to 40 different war sites with its GPS location technology.

Contemplate life under the Japanese Occupation at the National Library Gallery with artworks on display by Ex-Prisoner of War (POW) William Haxworth, who drew over three hundred pieces of pencil sketches, pen and ink drawings, and watercolours documenting the days he spent in captivity.

Concurrently, visit the ‘Battle for Adam Park’ exhibition and find out more about its World War II history from the findings unearthed from the Singapore Heritage Society’s archaeological excavation of the park. 

Finally, in commemoration of the anniversary, the National Museum of Singapore’s History Gallery, Memories at Old Ford Factory, and Reflections at Bukit Chandu will offer free admission from 13th to 19th February.

‘Battle for Adam Park’ and Art of William Haxworth Exhibitions
Venue: National Library Building, Level 10, National Library Gallery
Date: 8 Feb 2012 - 24 Jun 2012
Operating Hours: 10am - 9pm

World II Trail Markers and Resilience Walks
Date: From 15 Feb 2012.

Participating Museum and Interpretative Centres
Free Admission from 13-19 Feb

Reflections at Bukit Chandu, 31-K Pepys Road.
Operating Hours: Tues to Sun, 9am - 5.30pm

Memories at Old Ford Factory, 351 Upper Bukit Timah Road.
Operating Hours: Mon to Sat, 9am - 5.30pm; Sunday, 12pm to 5.30pm

National Museum of Singapore History Gallery, 93 Stamford Road
Operating Hours: Daily, 10am - 6pm

Check out NHB's full listings of the events here.

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