NHB War Memorial Plaques, various places in Singapore


In 1995, 50 years after the end of the Second World War, the National Heritage Board (NHB) had eleven book-shaped monuments and three truncated memorial pyramids erected that marked significant war sites across the island. In February 2012, NHB unveiled an additional six memorial plaques to mark the 70th anniversary of the fall of the island to Japanese forces on 15 February 1942. 

These 20 memorials are located at sites where major battles occurred during the Japanese invasion (e.g., at Kranji Beach, Bukit Timah or Pasir Panjang), at some of Singapore's main military installations of the time (e.g., Labrador Battery, Selatar Airfield or Fort Canning), at sites of torture and mass murder by the Japanese occupation forces (e.g., the former seat of the Kempeitai East District Branch or some of the Sook Ching execution sites), at final resting places of clandestine operatives killed during the occupation (e.g., Lim Bo Seng of Force 136 or British and Australian commandos of Operation Rimau), and at sites where memorials erected by the Japanese had previously stood (e.g., the former Indian National Army Monument at the Esplanade or the former Syonan Chureito at Bukit Batok).  

These monuments thus mostly tell a story of short-sighted and inadequate defensive efforts by the British, of hardship and Japanese atrocities during the subsequent occupation, of pan-Asian liberation movements during the war, and of Singapore's multi-ethnic defenders joining forces to make a heroic stand against the Japanese aggressors. The monuments now form part of NHB's World War II Trail that spans the entire island and passes on an state-championed narrative of Singapore's war experience from the start of the invasion to the end of the war. Some of the sites are also popular stops for several tours by local heritage tourism operators.


  1. http://worldhistoryconnected.press.illinois.edu/11.1/schumacher.html

  2. https://roots.sg/visit/trails/world-war-2-trail