Changi Prison's entrance gate, wall, turrets gazetted as Singapore's 72nd national monument

The entrance gate and high wall of Changi Prison.
The entrance gate and high wall of Changi Prison. PHOTO: SINGAPORE PRISON SERVICE
Changi Prison's turrets served as watchtowers.
Changi Prison's turrets served as watchtowers. PHOTO: SINGAPORE PRISON SERVICE

SINGAPORE - Changi Prison's entrance gate, wall and turrets have been gazetted as a national monument to remember Singapore's wartime experience, the National Heritage Board (NHB) announced on Monday (Feb 15). It is Singapore's 72nd national monument.

Feb 15 was also the day in 1942 that Singapore was surrendered to the Japanese during World War II, NHB added, which serves "as a grim reminder of this dark episode in our history".

Changi Prison, designed by the Public Works Department as a maximum security prison, was completed in 1936 before becoming operational on Jan 4, 1937.

During World War II, the prison and its surrounding barracks formed the principal Prisoner-of-War (POW) camp in South-east Asia.


British POWs leaving Changi Prison in 1945. PHOTO: ANGUS NEWSPAPER COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS, STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA

Other World War II-related national monuments include the former City Hall (gazetted in 1992), the former Cathay Building (2003), the former Ford Factory (2006) and the former Command House (2009).

 

The most recent were the Esplanade Park and Civilian War Memorials, which were gazetted in 2010 and 2013 respectively.

 

Ms Jean Wee, NHB's director of the Preservation of Sites and Monuments division, said: "Changi Prison stands today as an enduring symbol of the suffering of those who defended Singapore during the tumultuous war years between 1942 and 1945.

"We hope that this monument will serve as an important reminder to all Singaporeans of the tremendous sacrifice by POWs and to treasure the peace and harmony we have today, and continue to safeguard it with resilience and courage."

A full list of Singapore's 72 national monuments can be found below.