Bukit Batok Memorials

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Bukit Batok Memorial

Bukit Batok Hill is the site where two memorials, the Syonan Chureito and the Allied Memorial, once stood. The Syonan Chureito was the Japanese memorial built to honour the Japanese war dead during the battle for Singapore. The Japanese used 500 British and Australian POWs from Sime Road Camp to build the Syonan Chureito. The Allied POWs also requested a memorial for their own war dead. The Japanese granted the request and a smaller POW monument was built behind the Chureito.

The Syonan Chureito was a 12-metre high wooden pylon crowned with a brass cone, and had the words 'chu rei to' on it, which meant 'the sacrifice made by the fallen soldiers'. Behind it stood a small hut that housed the ashes of those killed in the Battle of Bukit Timah. The British Memorial was a 3-metre high cross where the ashes of some of the British war dead were laid.

Both monuments were unveiled on the same day, on 8 Dec 1942, to mark the first anniversary of the commencement of the Pacific War and the 'liberation' of Southeast Asia. The Japanese monument was unveiled first, followed by the unveiling of the British monument by a British commander with a speech thanking the Japanese army. On the night of the unveiling, a special ceremony was held where the ashes of the Japanese dead were brought up the torch-lit stairs leading to the monuments and placed at the Syonan Chureito.

With the surrender of Japan, local Japanese forces destroyed the Chureito and removed the cross. Returning British forces blew up the concrete foundation. The ashes of the Japanese soldiers were subsequently transferred to the Japanese Cemetery Park at Chuan Hoe Avenue. Today, a television transmission tower occupies the site where the memorial used to stand. All that remains is the flight of steps that led to the memorials.