Bell of remembrance rung at Kranji War Cemetery to mark 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore

Ms Olga Henderson, 84, and Mrs Vilma Howe, 88, were just children when they were taken by the Japanese to live in a prison camp in Changi in 1942.
Officials and dignitaries lay a wreath of poppies near the Singapore Memorial to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore on Feb 15, 2017.
Officials and dignitaries lay a wreath of poppies near the Singapore Memorial to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore on Feb 15, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
A commemorative plaque is unveiled during a ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore on Feb 15, 2017, at Kranji War Memorial.
A commemorative plaque is unveiled during a ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore on Feb 15, 2017, at Kranji War Memorial.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Religious leaders offer a silent prayer during the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore at Kranji War Cemetery on Feb 15, 2017.
Religious leaders offer a silent prayer during the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore at Kranji War Cemetery on Feb 15, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Guests attend the Commemoration Ceremony for the 75th Anniversay of the fall of Singapore at Kranji War Cemetery on Feb 15, 2017.
Guests attend the Commemoration Ceremony for the 75th Anniversay of the fall of Singapore at Kranji War Cemetery on Feb 15, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Maj (Ret) Yap Siang Yong, 70, a member of Singapore Armed Forces Veterans' League, looking for tombstones of members of "Z" Special Unit.
Maj (Ret) Yap Siang Yong, 70, a member of Singapore Armed Forces Veterans' League, looking for tombstones of members of "Z" Special Unit.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Mr Neil Munro, 67, and Mrs Clare Munro, 65, from New South Wales,  visit the tombstone of their uncle.
Mr Neil Munro, 67, and Mrs Clare Munro, 65, from New South Wales, visit the tombstone of their uncle.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Wreaths are seen during a commemoration ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore on Feb 15, 2017.
Wreaths are seen during a commemoration ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore on Feb 15, 2017. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Captain Ho Weng Toh, 96, who flew 18 bombing missions over Japan-occupied China.
Captain Ho Weng Toh, 96, who flew 18 bombing missions over Japan-occupied China.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The casualties of World War II were honoured at Kranji War Cemetery on Wednesday (Feb 15), the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore.

In a solemn ceremony attended by dignitaries, diplomats, and military officials and veterans, a bell of remembrance was rung five times - once for every year that the war raged in the Pacific.

Under an overcast sky from which a slight drizzle fell at times, Japanese Ambassador to Singapore Kenji Shinoda was one of the first VIPs to lay a wreath of poppies - which traditionally symbolise blood shed on the battlefield.

This is the first time Japan is working with former Allied countries, including Singapore, to organise a World War II commemoration ceremony here.

Three World War II survivors were the last to lay their wreaths near the Singapore Memorial, inscribed with the name of more than 24,000 soldiers and airmen who died during the war in Malaya and Indonesia and have no known grave.

Ms Olga Henderson, 84, and Mrs Vilma Howe, 88, who were imprisoned at Changi as children, walked hand in hand up to the memorial.

Beside them, Captain Ho Weng Toh, who flew 18 bombing missions over Japan-occupied China, wore his pilot wings on his blazer..