Kranji War Memorial

9 Woodlands Road, Singapore 738656

Location: 9 Woodlands Road

“On the walls of this memorial are recorded the names of twenty four thousand soldiers and airmen of many races united in service to the British crown who gave their lives in Malaya and neighbouring lands and seas and in the air over Southern and Eastern Asia and the Pacific but to whom the fortune of war denied the customary rites accorded to their comrades in death.”

“THEY DIED FOR ALL FREE MEN”

DESCRIPTION

The Kranji Memorial is situated 22 kilometres from the Town Centre. It consists of the Kranji War Memorial, the Military Cemetery and the Singapore State Cemetery. It is situated 10 – 15 minutes away by foot from Kranji MRT (train) station.

It commemorates the sacrifice of the 24,346 soldiers and allied forces who died during World War II. Among these fallen heroes lie warriors, heroes and nurses from all over the world, including those from Britain, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Netherlands, India, Indonesia and Singapore. There were only 4,465 burials in the cemetery but 24,346 names were written on the memorial walls, rows and rows of names of these warriors, many whose bodies were never found. Their names were inscribed on both sides of 12 columns of the Memorial Wall.

The magnificent design of the memorial was completed with a conning tower with a star at the top, with spreading wings and walls that sybolizes the military formations.

HISTORY

Before World War II, the Kranji Memorial was an ammunition dump for the British Military. Japanese Imperial Guards landed at Kranji River, within two miles from the cemetery on 9 February 1942. Quickly, Kranji became a prisoner-of-war campsite, just one week (9 – 15 February 1942) from the day Japanese forces landed.

Kranji War Cemetery was first started by the prisoners and was endorsed later by the Army Graves Service after the war ended in 1946. It incorporated the graves of war prisoners from Changi Camps, Buona Vista Camp, Ulu Pandan’s war graves and many other graves from all parts of Singapore. Bidadari Christian Cemetry as well as the graves of Saigon Military Cemetery in French Indochina (Vietnam) from World War I were also transferred here.

The Kranji Memorials were designed by Colin St Clair Oakes and the memorial was unveiled on 2 March 1957 by Sir Robert Black, who was a former prisoner-of-war during the Japanese Occupation and at the time of the unveiling, the Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Singapore.

Note: The Singapore State Cemetery at Kranji contains only two graves – Yusof bin Ishak (Singapore's First President; 1959 – 1965) and Dr Benjamin Henry Sheares (The Second President of Singapore; 1970 - 1981)

CURRENT

The Memorial is sited on a gently sloping hillside with magnificent views overlooking the Straits of Johor to the north and the whole of Singapore island to the south. The tombstones are laid out in serried rows interspersed with flower beds and perfectly manicured lawns, all beautifully tended – not a leaf out of place.

Kranji War Memorial was opened daily from:
- 07:00 – 18:30

Memorial Services are held annually on:
- 11 Nov : Remembrance Day (Armistice Day), when the dead are honoured throughout the world. A Memorial Service is held at Kranji every year, early in the morning when the sun is still rising. Every race and creed comes together here on that day. The ceremony is always solemn, moving and a reminder never to forget the horrors of war and the sacrifice of these brave men and women. It is noteworthy that, each year, more and more children are brought by their parents to this Memorial Service. “Lest We Forget”.

- 25 Apr : ANZAC Day is commemorated.

Let these days be days of rememberance. They died so that we might live…



References

1. National Library Board Singapore. (2015, July 30). Kranji Memorials. Retrieved from SINGAPORE INFOPEDIA: Link Here

2. Singapore Tourism Board. (2015, July 30). SEE & DO: Kranji War Memorial. Retrieved from YOURSINGAPORE: Link Here

3. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2015, May 24 ). Article: Kranji War Memorial. Retrieved from WIKIPEDIA THE FREE ENCYCLOPEDIA: Link Here

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