NHB organises walking tours to mark 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore

Dr Mohamed Effendy on Feb 2, 2017, pointing to British defence positions on a map of Singapore, during a tour to mark the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore.
Dr Mohamed Effendy on Feb 2, 2017, pointing to British defence positions on a map of Singapore, during a tour to mark the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A plaque marking the place where the Rimau Commandos were executed, at NUS U-town.
A plaque marking the place where the Rimau Commandos were executed, at NUS U-town.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The police camp along Ulu Pandan Road, which used to be where two British gun batteries were stationed. The batteries were to be used to fire at enemy ships off the coast of Pasir Panjang.
The police camp along Ulu Pandan Road, which used to be where two British gun batteries were stationed. The batteries were to be used to fire at enemy ships off the coast of Pasir Panjang.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Dr Mohamed Effendy speaking in front of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, which was a major staging area for Japanese forces during the Battle of Singapore.
Dr Mohamed Effendy speaking in front of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, which was a major staging area for Japanese forces during the Battle of Singapore.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The tour also takes people to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, where the battle for Bukit Timah took place.
The tour also takes people to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, where the battle for Bukit Timah took place.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Dr Mohamed Effendy showing a picture of what the stairs to the Chureito Shrine looked like in the past. The shrine, which has since been destroyed, was built to honour Japanese soldiers who died at Bukit Timah.
Dr Mohamed Effendy showing a picture of what the stairs to the Chureito Shrine looked like in the past. The shrine, which has since been destroyed, was built to honour Japanese soldiers who died at Bukit Timah.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - The National Heritage Board (NHB) is organising 11 walking tours around Singapore to mark the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore in 1942 during World War II.

One of the tours, named The Last Days Of Empire, takes participants to memorials from University Town, where the execution of 10 Rimau ("tiger" in Malay) Commandos took place, to the Former Ford Factory, which was an assembly plant of the Ford Motor Factory of Malaya and which became the site of  surrender of Singapore by the British forces to the Japanese army. 

British Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival led the British forces to sign surrender documents at the Ford Motor Factory in Upper Bukit Timah Road on Feb 15, 1942, which marked the start of the Japanese Occupation in Singapore. The Japanese Occupation ended only on Sept 12, 1945.  

The Operation Rimau was a daring raid undertaken by 23 British and Australian commandos in 1944.  

Though many of the memorials are in plain sight, they remain poorly understood by people in Singapore.

Led by Dr Mohamed Effendy from NUS' department of South-east Asian studies, the tour also takes participants to the strategic area of Bukit Timah which saw one of the fiercest fightings between Allied forces and the Japanese army. This site marks Lt-Gen Percival's final defence of southern Singapore against the Japanese invaders which entered from the north on Feb 8, 1942.

From Feb 16 to March 12, 2017, members of the public can join in a series of  the guided tours, a public talk, and offerings at the various Museum Roundtable (MR) museums to learn more about the events leading up to the Fall of Singapore, as well as stories of the Japanese Occupation. These events have been organised by the NHB together with community partners, MR museums, and heritage experts.