5 New Tours To Historic World War II Sites

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History and heritage buffs are in for a real treat as they’ll be able to explore historic sites that were previously off limits through the National Heritage Board’s (NHB) Battle for Singapore 2021 programme.

The programmes and special access tours were specially curated by NHB and NHB’s Museum Roundtable (MR) members, citizen historians and heritage enthusiasts to mark the 79th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore.

We highlight 5 tours that you can’t miss. Register for the tours here.

Fort Siloso Rediscovery Tour

20, 21, 27, 28 February
6, 7, 13, 14 March
10am – noon, 2pm – 4pm
$5 per person
Open to participants aged 18 and above

Explore the grounds of Fort Siloso with history experts Dr John Kwok and Saifullah Kamaludin who will take you on a journey to learn more about the role of the fort in Singapore’s maritime past.

Photo: National Heritage Board

Get exclusive access to areas such as Siloso Pier, coastal mine defence casement, and the Coastal Search Light stations. These areas tell a more complex history of Fort Siloso and will show that a familiar place like Fort Siloso still has many stories to tell.

Mini Tour: Former Ford Factory – Singapore Discovery Centre

20 & 28 February
9.30am – noon, 2pm – 4pm

At the Former Ford Factory, learn more about the Japanese Occupation through archival records and artefacts on display, and also use an interactive mobile app to enhance your experience.

Singapore Discovery Centre
Photo: National Heritage Board

At the Singapore Discovery Centre, check out its newly revamped galleries which provide insights into life during the Occupation through enhanced technology such as augmented reality, as well as stories of resilience courage during the war.

Mini Tour: Eurasian Heritage Gallery – National Gallery Singapore

21 February, 6 March
9.30am – noon, 2pm – 4.30pm

At the Eurasian Heritage Gallery, discover how the Eurasian community suffered during WWII under the Japanese Occupation and how several Eurasian war heroes emerged from the trials and tribulations.

National Gallery Singapore
Photo: Singapore Tourism Board

At National Gallery Singapore, go on a journey across specific sites around the Gallery’s City Hall Wing such as the City Hall Steps and City Hall Chamber to explore different perspectives of how WWII was experienced in Singapore.

WWII Changi Point Walking Tour

28 February, 7 March
9am – 11am

Open to participants aged 18 and above

Known for its laid-back charm, Changi Point has become a destination for leisure and recreation. Many of its present-day leisure and recreational facilities tell a deeper story; one that very much has to do with a military past and the events that led up to the Fall of Singapore and its aftermath.

Photo: National Heritage Board

Join Jerome Lim of The Long and Winding Road blog on a walk around Changi Point and its boardwalk to uncover its history through its sports and recreational facilities, geographical features, facilities and some surprising remnants of the past, and to examine the roles that some of them may have played during the Second World War.

Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital Heritage Gallery Tour

27 February, 7 March
10am – 11am
Tour conducted in Mandarin

Learn about World War II through the lens of Kwong Wai Shiu Free Hospital, a charitable healthcare facility founded by a group of Cantonese businessmen in 1910.

During the Occupation, part of the hospital compound was destroyed by bombs. Despite the destruction, the hospital continued with its mission of serving the needy, expanded its services to admit children and infants, and even buried war victims.

Photo: Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital

Traditionally supported by the Chinese community, the war also led to the reversal of fortunes for some of the hospital’s key patrons such as Ching Kee Sun and Boey Khye Hong. Before the Occupation, they had fervently supported China in its war efforts against the Japanese through participation in Cantonese associations and fund-raising efforts. What happened to these individuals when Singapore became Syonan-To?

Uncover more stories through a tour of the gallery which includes a classroom session where newspaper articles of the period will be shared. Conducted in Mandarin, this tour is led by Lee Kok Leong, curator of the Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital Heritage Gallery.