The Memory Morgue

Singapore's history in photos


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The Memory Morgue

The Memory Morgue

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Lt Gen. Yamashita (seated, centre) thumps the table with his fist to emphasise his terms – unconditional surrender. Lt Gen. Percival sits between his officers, his clenched hand to his mouth. The British surrendered to the Japanese army on February 15, 1942. (Text from Wikipedia: bit.ly/GLR4W3)

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Lieutenant-General Arthur Ernest Percival (26 December 1887 - 31 January 1966), the General Officer Commanding Malaya. (Text from sg.sg/GGYm97 and Wikipedia bit.ly/GHneom)

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General Yamashita Tomoyuki (November 8, 1885 – February 23, 1946), Commander of the Japanese Imperial Army. He was most famous for conquering the British colonies of Malaya and Singapore, earning the nickname "The Tiger of Malaya". After the Japanese surrendered, he was tried in Manila for war crimes. On 23 February 1946, at Los Baños, Laguna Prison Camp, 30 miles (48 km) south of Manila, Yamashita was hanged. Text from sg.sg/GGYm97 and Wikipedia bit.ly/GH633T)

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British surrender party arriving at Ford Motor Company, where the surrender document would be signed. (Text modified from sg.sg/GGYm97)

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Lieutenant-General A. E. Percival, the General Officer Commanding Malaya at the Surrender Talks with Lieutenant-Colonel Sugita Ichiji. (Text from sg.sg/GGYm97)

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General Yamashita Tomoyuki, Commander of the Japanese Imperial Army. He was nicknamed the Tiger of Malaya because of his swift and decisive conquest of Malaya and Singapore in just 70 days. February 1942. (Text from sg.sg/GGYm97)

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British troops marching along Serangoon Road after the British surrendered to the Japanese on February 15, 1942. Singapore, the crown colony and "Impregnable Fortress", fell after just 7 days of battle. (Text from sg.sg/GGYm97 and Wikipedia bit.ly/GLR4W3)

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Policeman directing traffic in 1968 at Joo Chiat Road/Geylang Serai junction.

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Tigers used to be found in the wild in Singapore, but they became a serious threat when more parts of the island became inhabited. To contain the tiger menace, the government gave a reward of $20 for every tiger killed but it was eventually raised to $100 as casualties increased. On October 26, 1930, Mr Ong Kim Hong from Singer Sewing Machine Co. shot the last tiger of Singapore in Choa Chu Kang. (More info sg.sg/GDI1BX)

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The Great Royal Circus of India arriving at Singapore in 1968. (More details here: bit.ly/GElaqE)

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In the 1920s, Basapa move his animals to a 27-acre of land he bought at Punggol. His new zoo was considered modern then, equipped with power generators and had workers’ dormitories. However, the zoo was destroyed before the Japanese invasion. Identifying the Punggol end as a potential landing site for the Japanese invaders, the British forces evicted the zoo and used the location as a defensive ground. (Text modified from source bit.ly/GElaqE)

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Nicknamed the “Animal Man”, Basapa had his original zoo at 317 Serangoon Road. The animal lover saw it an opportunity to charge entrance fees to the increasing number of visitors, but his animal collection would grow so large that there were complaints to the Singapore Rural Board (abolished in 1965) about its stench, noise and overcrowding of animals. (Text from bit.ly/GElaqE)

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Ponggol Zoo (some sources refer it as Babujan Zoo) was one of the early private zoos in Singapore. The Punggol Zoo was owned by a wealthy Indian trader called William Lawrence Soma Basapa (1893-1943) between 1920s and 1940s. (Text from bit.ly/GElaqE )

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In the 1860s, Orchard Road had a great number of private houses and bungalows on hills looking down through the valley where the road passed through. Early in the 1890s, King Chulalongkorn, the then King of Siam, acquired "Hurricane House" in the vicinity of Orchard Road through Tan Kim Ching, the Thai Consul in Singapore. Two further pieces of adjoining property were added later and these subsequently became the site of the present Royal Thai Embassy at 370 Orchard Road. (Text/Wikipedia)

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Thian Hock Keng Temple is the oldest and most important Hokkien temple in Singapore. Early Chinese immigrants built a “joss house” from 1821 to 1822 to pray and thank the Mazu Goddess for their safe passage. Thian Hock Keng Temple was later built on the site from 1839 to 1842. The renovation cost of $30,000 was covered by donations from devotees, also one of the philanthropist Tan Tock Seng. It served as a temple, school and community centre. (Text modified from Wikipedia)

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Old stamp

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Kampong in Woodlands. The origin of the name "Woodlands" could be traced from its beginnings as a largely wooded area with many plantations. Viewed from the Johor side of the Straits, the wooded coastline was full of "Keranji" trees. Plantations flourished in Woodlands with the planting of crops such as gambier, pepper and rubber. (Text from sg.sg/zR1XDo)

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Roadside hawkers along Singapore river, 1970s.

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View of Johnstons pier and Hong Kong-Shanghai Bank, 1905. Before the Tanjong Pagar wharves were built in the 1850s, Johnston's Pier was the chief landing place. By the 1930s, the pier was worn out and the government decided to build a new one and name it after Sir Hugh Clifford, Governor of the Straits Settlements between 1927 and 1929. (Text/Wikipedia)

From the Belly of the Carp: Singapore river voices

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Malay kampongs along Kallang river, 1860s.

From the Belly of the Carp: Singapore river voices

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Old map of Singapore, 1825

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Trolley bus, circa 1930

Hostel Singapore

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Street Market, circa 1930

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Coolies at a wharf, circa 1935.

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Coastline of Singapore, circa 1930.

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