Battle for Singapore 2023 - Unearth Singapore's World War II History



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The National Heritage Board marks the 81st anniversary of the Fall of Singapore with its annual Battle for Singapore initiative with a series of special guided tours, talks, exhibitions and film screenings documenting the event. 

From 10 February to 5 March 2023, Battle for Singapore 2023 will take participants on a journey to trace the roots of Singapore’s wartime past, and uncover the hidden stories about various World War II (WWII) sites.

Participants will get to explore the grounds of Fort Connaught through a special access tour, embark on tours of sites such as Bukit Brown and Fort Canning Hill, and  learn about the courage and resilience of our war heroes and pioneers during the Japanese Occupation

Over 30 Unique Programmes and Over 100 Tours

Together with MR members, academics, heritage enthusiasts and interest groups, NHB is offering more than 30 unique programmes and over 100 tour runs that cover various aspects of Singapore’s WWII history. This year’s diverse line-up also includes 19 new programmes! 

Registration for tours and programmes commences 8 February 2023, Wednesday, at 10am, on a first-come first-served basis at https://go.gov.sg/bsg2023

We highlight some of these new programmes as well as those that families should not miss! 

Special Access Tour -  Fort Connaught

Date: 11 Feb; 12 Feb; 18 Feb; 19 Feb; 25 Feb; 26 Feb 2023
Time: 9am - 11.30am; 1pm - 3.30pm
Fee: $20 per participant

This year, participants will get a chance to explore the grounds of Fort Connaught through a special access tour, which is the first-ever public tour since the fort’s construction in 1878.

Built for the defence of Keppel Harbour, a crucial ship-building and repair facility in Singapore, Fort Connaught was armed with 9.2-inch guns ‚Äď these were the largest on Sentosa, and were used to engage invading Japanese troops during the Battle for Singapore. The tour will give participants a glimpse into the abandoned Fort‚Äôs history, construction and its role in Singapore‚Äôs defence during the Japanese invasion of WWII.¬†

This programme is recommended for ages 13 and up. Minors under the age of 16 have to be accompanied by an adult/ guardian.

Ticketing and more details at https://bsg2023.peatix.com

Wartime Stories of Jalan Besar

Photo Credits: Lee Kok Leong

Date: 12 Feb; 19 Feb 2023 [English-language tours]
Date: 26 Feb; 5 Mar 2023 [Mandarin-language tours; šł≠śĖáŚõĘ]
Time: 4pm ‚Äď 6pm
Fees: $5 per participant

Did you know that Jalan Besar was one of the Sook Ching sites during the Japanese Occupation?

Prior to that, it was one of the major fundraising sites for the Sino-Japanese War. When the war spread to Singapore, there were heartwarming scenes of mutual help, as well as thrilling scenes of survival. Join Mr Lee Kok Leong, curator of the Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital Heritage Gallery, on an afternoon walk from Lavender MRT to the Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital and find out where our founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew hid from the Japanese as well as other little-known facts about the neighbourhood during WWII.

Ticketing and more details at https://bsg2023.peatix.com

Lest We Forget

Date: 18 Feb, 25 Feb, 4 Mar 2023
Time: 4.30pm - 6pm
Fees: $5 per participant

Throughout history, people have erected statues and sculptures in honour of men and¬†women of valour, courage and sacrifice. Tall, impressive and often austere ‚Äď what do¬†these memorials actually stand for? Who, or what, are we meant to remember?¬†

Discover the symbolism in each memorial’s design as well as the hidden stories behind each sculpture and engraving. More importantly, learn about the heroes who sacrificed themselves for Singapore, lest we forget. The monuments covered are Civilian War Memorial, Cenotaph and Lim Bo Seng Memorial.

Ticketing and more details at https://bsg2023.peatix.com

Botanic Gardens to Bukit Brown

Date: 11 Feb 2023
Time: 8am ‚Äď 11.30am
Fees: $5 per participant

Participants will be taken on a walk through the heritage corridor from the Botanic Gardens to Bukit Brown cemetery. During the tour, the guides will share stories of WWII heroes and prominent personalities at heritage landmarks, including the Jacob Ballas Garden and old Raffles College. Participants will pass by the Former Command House along the route and end in Bukit Brown to learn about the battle that took place there with the British and Indian soldiers at the former kampung (village).

Ticketing and more details at https://bsg2023.peatix.com

Battle of Bukit Brown and Mount Pleasant

Date: 12 Feb 2023
Time: 8am ‚Äď 11.30am
Fees: $5 per participant

The tour follows the course of the battles on 14-15 February 1942 as the Japanese 5th Division attempted to capture the MacRitchie Reservoir area and attack south through Bukit Brown and Mount Pleasant, which were defended by the British 18th Division.

Ticketing and more details at https://bsg2023.peatix.com

Timmy and Tammy Talk to Grandma About the War

Date: 18 Feb 2023
Time: 2pm ‚Äď 2.45pm; 3.30pm ‚Äď 4.15pm
Venue: National Museum of Singapore
Fees: $5 per adult / child pair

In this storytelling session based on the popular children’s book Timmy & Tammy Talking to Grandpa about the War, children will learn about banana money and food ration cards that were used during the Japanese Occupation in Singapore, and speak with Great-grandma, who lived through WWII. After the session, explore our Surviving Syonan gallery in your own time with the help of a list of highlights.

Ticketing and more details at https://timmytammy230218.peatix.com

Exclusive Sneak Peek Tour of the Revamped Navy Museum

Date: 25 Feb 2023
Time: 10am ‚Äď 12pm; 2pm ‚Äď 4pm
Venue: Navy Museum, Singapore
Fees: Free

Step aboard for an exclusive sneak peek into the refreshed Navy Museum before her official opening, and uncover the story of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). Follow her journey from humble origins as a volunteer force formed on the eve of World War II to today’s modern and capable fleet. 

Register at sgnavymuseum@defencecollectivesg.com with your name, contact number and preferred timeslot. Limited capacity and registration is mandatory.

Light Amidst Adversity: Rare Gallery Tour

Date: 18 Feb; 25 Feb 2023 (with additional runs on 11 Mar; 25 Mar 2023)
Time: 11am ‚Äď 12pm; 1pm ‚Äď 2pm
Venue: National Library, Singapore
Fees: Free

Using historical and archival materials from the collections of the National Library and the National Archives, this display seeks to explore the themes of resistance, resilience, and post-war remembrance in Singapore during WWII. The display features a selection of rare books, photographs, artworks, personal documents, and ephemera that record local war preparations and the stories of resilience, sacrifice and adversity.

Registration and more details at https://www.eventbrite.sg/e/light-amidst-adversity-gallery-tour-tickets-525409553117

Outdoor Survival Skills: Surviving The Wild with Beyond Expeditions SG

Date: 11 Feb; 12 Feb; 25 Feb; 26 Feb 2023
Venue: Reflections at Bukit Chandu, Various Locations
Fees: Free

The rough terrain of the dense forest brought about unique challenges for military troops in this region during the war. In collaboration with local outdoor adventure team, Beyond Expedition Singapore, join in a series of activities and try your hands at some of the essential survival skills that would be useful in the wilderness.

Take part in the activities at Reflection at Bukit Chandu to sharpen your navigation skills, learn how to start a fire safely, pick up basic first aid skills and more! Complete all stations and bring home a mystery gift.

Loyal and True: A Dramatised Tour at Reflections at Bukit Chandu

Date: 25 Feb 2023
Time: 3pm ‚Äď 3.30pm; 4.30pm ‚Äď 5pm
Venue: Reflections at Bukit Chandu
Fees: $15 per participant

Immerse yourself in the story of the Malay Regiment through a unique theatrical tour of RBC. Hear directly from the characters about their thoughts and feelings regarding their experiences during WWII, and learn about the Malay Regiment as not just heroes, but also as people.

Ticketing and more details at https://rbc23-loyalandtrue.peatix.com.

Defence Through the Ages Guided Tour

Photo Credits: Singapore Discovery Centre

Date: 10 ‚Äď 25 Feb 2023
Time: Mon ‚Äď Fri: 2pm, 4pm; Sat, Sun, PH: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm
Venue: Singapore Discovery Centre
Fees: Free

Are we safe? How are we keeping Singapore, our home, safe against the backdrop of evolving security threats? What role can you play? Come with us on a journey through some of the key historical events that have shaped our defence strategy through the years and explore how you can play a part in keeping Singapore safe and secure.

Interested parties can register on their date of visit at the Singapore Discovery Centre, 15 minutes before commencement of the tour. Registration is strictly on a first-come-first-served basis and is capped at a maximum of 20 pax per time slot.

SAFTI Bus Tour

Date: 10 ‚Äď 25 Feb 2023
Time: Mon ‚Äď Fri: 3pm; Sat, Sun, PH: 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm
Venue: Singapore Discovery Centre
Fees: Free

Hop onto the SAFTI bus for an exclusive tour around the 88-hectare training ground for officers-to-be. This tour offers a unique glimpse into the life of an officer cadet and the role of SAF in the defence and security of Singapore.

Interested parties can register on their date of visit at the Singapore Discovery Centre, 15 minutes before commencement of the tour. Registration is strictly on a first-come-first-served basis and is capped at a maximum of 40 pax per time slot.

 

Visit https://go.gov.sg/bsg2023 for more information and to sign up for Battle for Singapore 2023 programmes.

 



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This article is prepared by

Jiarong Yu
Daddy to 2 adorable little ones. Misses them the moment they are not around, regrets missing them the moment they are around.

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