Thursday, 27 September 2012

Fall of Singapore original newspaper

At the recent Singapore Heritage Society fund raiser this original newspaper was donated by two journalists from their personal collection of historic newspapers, It is a framed original copy of a newspaper dated 12 February 1942, reporting the Fall of Singapore. The newspaper is The Star of Guernsey, an island in the English Channel that was then under German occupation. The newspaper was used as a mouthpiece of the Nazi occupiers – hence the triumphalist tone in reporting the defeat of the British. The fate of The Star foreshadowed what would happen to the Straits Times in Occupied Singapore. It, too, would be commandeered as a mouthpiece of occupying forces, under the Synonan Shimbun/Times masthead.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Old Malayan Railway

Last year the historical Malayan Railway that crossed Singapore was dismantled as part of a deal between Malaysia and Singapore to move Malaysia's station and customs control from Tanjong Pagar located adjacent to the old Empire Dock where a lot of the evacuation ships left Singapore. Sad to see it go with a lot of the old infrastructure demolished. This photo shows some remnants recovered and preserved. One of the bolts has 1928 stamped on it. The old line crossed several old battle sites.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Now reading

The Real Tenko by Mark Felton. Well written so far and the start of the book relating to the fall of Hong Kong is fascinating. Look forward to getting through the rest of the book.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Gas mask unearthed by the Adam Park (TAPP) project team

The Adam Park project excavations continue to make amazing discoveries as part of their investigative work around one of the last  battle sites in Singapore. The latest find being gas masks as seen in the photos below from Jon Cooper's Adam Park Facebook page. It is a fascinating story and encourage taking a look at the photos and videos he has posted on facebook

70th Anniversary Remembrance Walk Saturday 3rd November 2012

Great to see this initiative being organised in Singapore!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

WW2 maps Singapore

This was a fascinating map being a Japanese reprinted map captured in Rabaul in 1946 but the map re printed in 1939 before the attack on Malaya includes the area where the Japanese made their main thrust on Singapore island on the 8th of February 1942 .

WW2 maps Singapore

Fascinating presentation tonight showing a number of maps including Japanese German and Italian maps of Singapore. One interesting story was that as the invasion of Singapore started the command HQ ordered all the Singapore maps to be destroyed (numbers unknown) and then the day before the surrender apparently requested maps to be provided to HQ but of course there were none available to provide! Considering the confusion of the time it would not surprise me if there was some element of the truth in in this story. This is the first known presentation of Singapore WW2 maps so well done to the presenter and good to see a full house at the Singapore History museum.

WW2 maps of Singapore

Photo of Major Gordon Bennett presenting to the press in January 1942 the month before Singapore fell. Questions around what map was used inspired the speaker's research

WW2 maps of Singapore

Lecture about to start

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Search for news reel footage

Carol Morgan writes 

I came across your website today.  My mother and sisters were evacuated from Singapore in early 1942, and  I remember seeing film of them coming down the gangplank at Southampton? on the UK programme "All Our Yesterdays" which showed 25-year-old newsreel week by week, so that would have been in 1967.  I have been unable to obtain a copy of this film, and it would be a big help in trying to trace it if you had details of the names of the evacuation ships at Singapore, and where they went, or where I might get this information.
 My father was evacuated on a different ship which was torpedoed or bombed, probably on the 13th February - he swam to the shore and eventually ended up in India.

Jane Reid survivor from the "Vyner Brooke" and search for information

Dear Sir

I wonder if you would be able to help me, my mother was a Civilian Internee of the Japanese in various camps in Sumatra, one such camp was Bangka, as my mother approaches her twilight  years she has shown an interest in trying to contact fellow internees of the camps she was held in and as such I am trying to find out sources who may be able to help me assist her in this. With this in mind I would be grateful if you know of any way I might be able to contact or put my mother in contact with her long lost childhood friends she made in the camps.

My mother will shortly be providing me with a list of the camps she was interned in, which i am more than happy to provide you with if this will help in anyway. The brief details I have at the moment are :

My mother name at the time of internment : Jane Reid
She was interned with her mother, grandmother and 4 siblings, Dirk, Roy, James and Erica Reid, sadly her grandmother died in the camps, they were originally captured after the ship that they left Singapore on was attacked/disabled, the ship was the “Vyner Brooke”, one of the camps they were in was immortalised in Paradise Road with the story of the vocal choir that was formed there. I also believe the surviving Australian nurses of the famous beach massacre at Banka Island were in one of the camps she was interned in.

Some further information i have is as follows

REID Mrs Marie wife of J.H. ‘Jock’ of PWD. Aged 38 in 1942.Palembang
women’s camp 1942. Sumatra internee with 5 children [Erica, Jane. James, Dirk & Roy],
Vyner Brooke survivors. Repatriated on Antenor from Singapore, arriving Liverpool 27.10.45.
To Paisley. Returned to Penang post war.

I hope this will help in starting to find my mothers dear friends.

Please let me know if you can assist or if you can point me in the right direction.

Yours Sincerly

Vincent Elgey