Remembering Singapore's World War II History | The Battle for Singapore 2020

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Location: Various Venues Islandwide
Date: 8 - 29 Feb 2020
Hour: Various Timings
Admission: FREE, unless otherwise stated

Commemorating the 78th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore with WWII-related programmes and sharing Singapore's History with our children

The 6th edition of The Battle for Singapore commemorates the 78th anniversary since Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942. This historical event plays a significant part in Singapore's history and our route to total independence. 

The National Heritage Board, through the annual Battle for Singapore, encourages Singaporeans to delve into and explore the different perspectives on Singapore's World War II history. This year, you will see 74 guided tours across Singapore, including some at lesser known WWII-related sites. 

It will be an educational experience for parents and children as we look to understand the impact of the Japanese Occupation and reflect on the importance of remembrance, resilience and reconciliation. 

Tours and Programmes

We will be highlighting some of the tours and programmes, but you may see the full list here. Registration will commence from 3 Feb 2020 at 12 pm, on a first come first served basis. 

*Do note that not all tours are suitable for young children. 

Former Admiralty House & Bunker

Date: 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23 Feb 2020
Time: 10 am to 11.30 pm & 2 pm to 3.30 pm
Age Restriction: 18 yrs and above
Registration here

The battle of Singapore | National Heritage Board

Surrounded by several ancillary buildings and facilities on a sprawling estate, the Former Admiralty House (now Canberra House) used to accommodate key military commanders based in Singapore. A house on a hill, Former Admiralty House follows a medieval tradition where the most important building is located on the highest elevated ground for defensive purposes and to overlook its surroundings as a reminder to others that they are being supervised.

The battle of Singapore | National Heritage Board

The battle of Singapore | National Heritage Board

The tour of Former Admiralty House and its surrounding features will reveal more about Singapore’s strategic position in WWII and the stories behind the building. Tour participants will even get to enter an underground bunker that dates back to WWII.

Former View Road Hospital

Date: 8*, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23 Feb 2020
Time: 10 am to 11.30 pm & 2 pm to 3.30 pm (*10 am only)
Age Restriction: 18 yrs and above
Registration here

The battle of Singapore | National Heritage Board

An unfinished building before the war, the building is thought to have been completed by the Japanese and used by the Japanese during the war to look over the Straits of Johor to identify enemy troop movements. The watchtower on the forth and fifth stories would have allowed a commanding view of the former SIngapore Naval Base and the Causeway. 

From the 1950s to early 1970, it served as accommodation for the Naval Base Police Force before it was known as View Road Hospital, a branch of Woodbridge Hospital (now the Institute of Mental Health) until the early 2000s.

The battle of Singapore | National Heritage Board

The battle of Singapore | National Heritage Board

This tour of Former View Road Hospital will unveil more about what is thought of the building’s past dating to WWII and the Japanese defence of Singapore during the Japanese Occupation.

When Singapore Fell @ Singapore History Gallery 

Date: 15, 16, 22, 23 Feb 2020
Time: 1 pm, 1.20 pm & 1.40 pm
Registration here (walk-ins allowed depending on availability)

Visitors will be led through the Singapore History Gallery at the National Museum of Singapore to hear about the progress of the Japanese Imperial Army towards Singapore, the quiet and fearful Chinese New Year in 1942, the immediate aftermath from the fall of the city, and what some of the people did to subvert the enemy or protect the population.

The duration of the tour will be 40 minutes.

The Darkest of Times - Living under the Japanese Rule

Date: 15, 16 Feb 2020
Time: 10 am - 12 pm & 2 pm - 4 pm
Registration here 

We remember the darkest of times when the people of Singapore had to endure the Japanese Occupation. Join the Former Ford Factory for this guided tour that will shed light on life during the Japanese Occupation through archival records, artifacts and a documentary screening featuring wartime footage and interviews.

Battle of Singapore Tours at Sentosa

Date: 8, 15 Feb 2020
Time: 3 pm - 4.30 pm
Venue: Fort Siloso

Date: 22 Feb 2020
Time: 10 am - 11.30 am
Venue: Fort Serapong

Date: 22 Feb 2020
Time: 3 pm - 4.30 pm
Venue: Mount Imbiah Battery
Registration here

Image Credit:

Sentosa played a vital role in the defense of Singapore and the tours will cover the strategies, plots, and follies that led to the Fall of Singapore in WWII. The tours will explore the remains of the 19th century British coastal artillery and fortifications and participants will be taken through the tunnels at Fort Siloso to the Surrender Chambers to witness the two surrender signings in the form of iconic waxworks.

Eurasian Heritage Gallery - Battle for Singapore Special Tour Programme

Date: 9, 16, 23 Feb 2020
Time: 2 pm - 4 pm
Venue: Eurasian Heritage Gallery
Fee: $10 per ticket
Registration here

Image Credit:

Join the Eurasian Heritage Gallery (EHG) for a three-part tour filled with crafts, a guided visit to the EHG, and the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of WWII from wartime survivors and their relatives through storytelling sessions.

Total Defence Public Programme

Date: 15, 16 Feb 2020
Time: 9 am - 6 pm
Venue: Singapore Discovery Centre
No Registration Required

In commemoration of Total Defence, Singapore Discovery Centre is organising a range of¬†Total Defence related activities for the public. The public can enjoy¬†free ‚ÄúXD‚ÄĚ rides, screenings of Total Defence related films and family game booths. They¬†can also witness a mixed-media drama show, The Last Light, about a Singaporean son who¬†has to fight for and defend his country. Another highlight of the weekend is a drop-in craft,¬†Salute SingaPaw!, where the public can dress up the centre‚Äôs mascot in various uniforms¬†to honour the sacrifices made by all defenders of Singapore‚Äôs homeland.



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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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