Singapore Private Tour
- Price: per person, twin share
- Single Supplement: $1860
- Deposit: 30%
This four day tour retraces Singapore’s World War II history and how the British were defeated by the Japanese.
Singapore Private Tour
Retrace Singapore’s World War II history with four days touring several museums and sites showcasing the remnants of the terrible war. Now a world-class city and economic powerhouse, during the war it was a scene of horror following the Japanese occupation. It is estimated that more Australian prisoners of war perished during incarceration in the labour camps than died in battle itself. Walk in the footsteps of these brave men and women during battle and their imprisonment, bringing this fascinating chapter of history to life.
On arrival into Singapore Airport, we will be met by a representative of Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours and transferred to our hotel. The rest of the day is at our leisure.
STAR INCLUSIONS ★ Arrival transfer
Today we will explore sites associated with the bitter fighting in Singapore in 1942, and the horrendous ordeal of prisoners of war who were captured here. The first stop today is Changi Village, once the site of many prisoner-of-war camps during the Japanese Occupation, Changi has since gone down in history as a place of much pain, torture and human suffering. It is said that more Australian POWs perished under incarceration than in the battle itself. You will then take a leisurely 15-minute walk to Changi Beach to visit the memorial plaque at one of the sites where the Sook Ching Massacre took place. This massacre lasted from 18 February to 04 March 1942 and was a means of “cleansing” the Chinese who were seen as hostile, anti-Japanese elements. Afterwards you will visit Johore Battery, built by the British in 1939, it is a gun emplacement site consisting of a labyrinth of tunnels. The tunnels were used to store ammunition to support three large guns that could fire 15-inch shells. The guns were the largest installed outside Britain during World War II. They were destroyed before the surrender of the British army and the tunnels were sealed up after the war. The location remained a secret until the Singapore Prisons Department rediscovered them in April 1991. Today, replicas of the large gun and a 15-inch shell are located at the Johore Battery. You will see Selarang Camp en route to Sembawang, where over 15,000 prisoners of war were held in a space designed to hold 1,200. Next you will pass the Sembawang Park and Sembawang Shipyard, used as a British Naval base complex from the 1920s until Singapore’s independence. You will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the Kranji War Memorial, to pay respects to more than 1100 Australian soldiers who are remembered in the British Commonwealth Memorial. You will also visit the Kranji War Cemetery, the final resting place for 4,458 allied servicemen in marked graves laid out in rows on maintained and manicured lawns. After you will take a scenic drive towards the Civic Centre to visit the City Hall. The significance of the City Hall lies in the involvement during the World War II. British prisoners-of-war were rounded up in front of the building for a march to POW camps at Changi Prison and Selarang. On 12 September 1945, the Japanese General Itagaki surrendered to Lord Mountbatten to end World War II in Singapore. While in the city, you will visit 2 memorials: Lim Bo Seng Memorial, a tribute to a local hero with his involvement in anti-Japanese activities and the Cenotaph Memorial, built in memory of the 124 British soldiers born or resident in Singapore who gave their lives in World War I (1914–1918), with a second dedication (but no names) added in remembrance of those who died in World War II (1941–1945). The last stop of the day is the Battlebox, built in 1936 and a former WWII British underground command centre inside Fort Canning Hill in the heart of Singapore City. It was part of the headquarters of Malaya Command, the army which defended Malaya and Singapore in WWII. It was inside the Battlebox that the British made the decision to surrender Singapore to the invading Japanese on 15 February 1942. At the end of today’s touring, you will be dropped back to your hotel where the evening is at your leisure. (B, L)
STAR INCLUSIONS ★ Changi Village and Beach Memorial ★ Johore Battery ★ Selarang Camp ★ Sembawang POW camp
★ Kranji War Memorial ★ Cenotaph Memorial ★ Lim Bo Seng Memorial ★ Battlebox ★ Fort Canning
Your first stop for the day is The Old Ford Motor Factory which is a historic building in Bukit Batok, Singapore, located along Upper Bukit Timah Road. It is the place where British forces under Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival surrendered to Japanese forces under Lieutenant-General Yamashita Tomoyuki on 15 February 1942 after the Battle of Singapore. The Former Ford Factory was restored by the National Archives of Singapore and currently houses a permanent World War II exhibition on the war and its legacies. You will continue your journey to Labrador Park which besides its rich biodiversity, this headland played a significant role in the history of Singapore during World War II. Remnants of the past like the tunnels and a fort enable visitors to have an interactive learning experience of the military history of the British rule during that era. Proceed thereafter to Fort Siloso, one of twelve coast artillery batteries which made up “Fortress Singapore” at the start of World War II. Although there are visible remains of some other batteries to be found on Singapore, Fort Siloso is the only restored battery open for public visitation. Today’s final stop is St Andrew’s Cathedral, the oldest Anglican house of worship in Singapore. After a morning of touring, the afternoon is at leisure to explore the sites of Singapore at your own pace. Drop off to your hotel will be approx. 1.00pm. (B)
STAR INCLUSIONS ★ Old Ford Factory ★ Labrador Park ★ Fort Siloso ★ St Andrews Cathedral
Unfortunately your tour ends today. You will be transferred to Singapore airport for your departure flight. (B)
STAR INCLUSIONS ★ Departure transfer
Your Tour Includes
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Please note: Itineraries are subject to change due to operational reasons. In addition, your Historian may alter the sites visited on each day to suit local conditions. Any changes will be advised closer to the time of departure.