Year 2023 marks the 81st Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore in 1942, it marks a dark and tumultuous chapter in Singapore’s history. During this period, stories of our forefathers’ strength and resilience emerged from the remnants of World War II (WWII). The National Heritage Board (NHB) is marking the 81st Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore with its annual Battle for Singapore 2023 programmes, taking place from 10th February to 5th March 2023.
Battle for Singapore 2023 will take participants on a journey through time and Singapore’s history, heritage, and hidden stories about various WWII sites, a journey tracing the roots of Singapore’s wartime past. Participants can embark on tours of sites such as Bukit Brown and Fort Canning Hill. They can also dive and learn deeper into Singapore’s history, courage and resilience of Singapore’s war heroes and pioneers during the Japanese Occupation from NHB’s Museum Roundtable (MR) partners, such as Battlebox, Eurasian Heritage Centre, MINT Museum of Toys, Navy Museum, as well as National Museum of Singapore (NMS), the Changi Chapel and Museum and Reflections at Bukit Chandu, they are WWII Interpretative centres under NMS.
Mr Gerald Wee, Director of International & Museum Relations, NHB, said, “The Fall of Singapore may have been an event from 81 years ago, but the experiences of our forefathers and the lessons learnt during that tumultuous period continue to have an important role in shaping our nation’s identity and charting our course ahead. Through Battle for Singapore 2023, we hope that Singaporeans will gain a deeper understanding of our WWII history and how it has impacted our lives today and be inspired by the spirit of resilience and solidarity of our war pioneers”
Battle for Singapore 2023 Programmes
There is a wide range of programmes on offer during Battle for Singapore 2023 taking place from 10th February to 5th March 2023. NHB together with MR members, academics, heritage enthusiasts and interest groups, is offering more than 30 unique programmes and over 100 tour runs that cover various aspects of Singapore’s WWII history.
The Battle for Singapore 2023 programmes diverse line-up also includes 19 new programmes, including
- Fort Connaught Rediscovery Tour (NEW)
- Second World War Vintage Toy Collection Guided Tour with Special Feature on General MacArthur (New)
- Exclusive Sneak Peek Tour of the Revamped Navy Museum (NEW)
- Special Twinned Tour: Changi Chapel and Museum and Eurasian Heritage Gallery (NEW)
- Special Twinned Tour: Kent Ridge Nature Walk and Reflections at Bukit Chandu (NEW)
- Defence and Fall of Singapore – From the 14th Century to 1945: A Fort Canning Hill and Battlebox Walking Tour (NEW)
Fort Connaught Rediscovery Tour (NEW)
For this year 2023, participants will get a chance to explore the grounds of Fort Connaught through a special access tour. This is the first-ever public tour since Fort Connaught was constructed in 1878 for the defence of Keppel Harbour, a crucial ship-building and ship-repair facility in Singapore.
Fort Connaught was armed with 9.2-inch guns, they were the largest on Sentosa, and were used to engage invading Japanese troops during the Battle for Singapore. Through this Fort Connaught Rediscovery Tour (NEW), participants can get a glimpse into the abandoned Fort Connaught history, construction and its role in Singapore’s defence during the Japanese invasion of Singapore during WWII.
How much do you know about the history of the guns of Singapore’s military forts? How often have you heard about that quip that the guns of Singapore’s military first were pointed “the wrong way” during the Battle of Singapore? During WWII, was Singapore’s guns pointing the wrong direction? Where is Fort Connaught located on Sentosa? Did Fort Connaught see WWII military action against the Japanese armed forces?
When you go on the Fort Connaught Rediscovery Tour, you can get the answers to the questions above. This tour is presented in partnership with Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC).
Here are some of the remains that you can see today during this special access Fort Connaught Rediscovery Tour.
One of the three 9.2-inch gun emplacements
Battery observation post
Tips/Things to take note
- Be careful and be safe when trekking up Fort Connaught
- Wear sturdy shoes (hiking boots highly recommended)
- Wear long pants and long sleeve shirt
- Bring a hat
- Bring your water bottle and stay hydrated
- Mosquito/Insect repellent is highly recommended
- Please do not visit on your own as it is a restricted site and it’s for your own safety as well
Fort Connaught Rediscovery Tour Information
Dates: 11 February; 12 February; 19 February; 25 February; 26 February 2023
Time: 9am to 1130am; 1pm to 330pm
Tickets are priced at $20 per participant, you can find ticketing and more details here at https://bsg2023.peatix.com
- The Fort Connaught Rediscovery Tour is recommended for ages 13 and up. Minors under the age of 16 have to be accompanied by an adult/guardian.
- Transport will be provided from Harbourfront MRT station to the site and back. Further details on the gathering point will be sent to participants upon registration.
For more information on Battle of Singapore 2023
Please visit https://go.gov.sg/bsg2023 for more information and details on to sign up for Battle for Singapore 2023 programmes.
Registration for tours and programmes commences on Wednesday 8th February 2023, at 10am, on a first-come first-served basis.