Dempsey Road, also known as Dempsey Hill and Tanglin Village, is located across from the Singapore Botanic Gardens, close to the U.S. Embassy. It was originally a nutmeg plantation and later became Tanglin Barracks, the headquarters of the Far East British Forces. On 15 February 1915 during World War I, in the Indian Mutiny, 60 mutineers- troops of the 5th Native Infantry of the Bengal Army based at Alexandra Barracks - made their way to the German Prisoner of War (POW) Camp near the Tanglin Barracks, freeing 300 prisoners and providing them with arms. They broke into the barracks, and killed 13 British, Singapore Volunteer Corps, Johor Military Force soldiers and a German POW.

 


 

Singapore’s first medical school was founded in 1905, converted from an old Female Lunatic Asylum at Sepoy Lines. Known then as the Straits and Federated Malay States Government Medical School, it was renamed the King Edward VII Medical School in 1913 and then to King Edward VII College of Medicine in 1924. In 1920, a new College building was commissioned, and the College of Medicine Building was officially opened on 15 February 1926.

 


 

Total Defence Day is marked annually on February 15 in Singapore to commemorate the anniversary of the surrender of the British to the Japanese on 15 February 1942, which was the first day of the Lunar New Year, precursoring 3 years and 6 months of Japanese Occupation, Singapore was renamed Syonan-to (Light of the South). The British surrendered to the Japanese after the devastating defeat of Singapore’s last strategic post of Bukit Chandu (Opium Hill). The British "surrender team" (or "surrender party') was made up of four British military officers; led by Lieutenant-General Arthur E. Percival, the rest were Brigadier K. S. Torrance, Brigadier T. K. Newbiggings, and Captain Cyril H. D. Wild. On 15 February 1942, the British delegation was ordered to be at Ford Factory in Bukit Timah, to meet Lieutenant-General Tomoyuki Yamashita, head of the invading Japanese forces. He fiercely demanded the unconditional surrender of Singapore, and Percival signed the Singapore Surrender Document.

 


 


(Photo taken at "From The Stacks" Highlights of the National Library)

 

'Syonan', meaning 'the brilliant south', was the name given to Singapore by Japan during the war, and the Syonan Shimbun was the newspaper and official mouthpiece of the Japanese Government during the occupation of Malaya. Operating out of the Straits Times offices on Cecil Street, the Shimbun was distributed throughout Malaya. Apart from news, the Shimbun was also used as a platform to spread Japanese imperialist messages about the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, a grand concept for a united East Asia and Oceania ruled by the Japanese Empire, free from western influences. Traces of this form of propaganda can be seen on this page taken from 15 February 1943, the one-year anniversary of the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. This issue feature articles celebrating the victory of Japan over British forces, and recounts of the Battle of Singapore, comparing it favourably to the landmark success of the German invasion of Dunkirk in 1940.

 


 

Television Singapura was Singapore's first television station and was launched on 15 February 1963 at 6 pm. On the day of the first transmission, the first screen to appear was the flag of Singapore fluttered while the Singapore National Anthem was played. The first person to appear on the screen was S. Rajarathnam. The first evening’s programme schedule was to have lasted an hour and forty minutes, and included a short film on Singapore, a cartoon, the news, a half an hour feature, and a variety show, ending transmission.

 


 

The Civilian War Memorial is a monument dedicated to civilians who perished during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore (1942-1945). It is located on a parkland, along Beach Road, opposite Raffles City, in the Downtown Core of Singapore's Central Region. The structure of four pillars soar to more than 68 m symbolising the shared 'war experiences' of the Chinese, Indians, Malays, and other races. It resembles two pairs of chopsticks, so it is affectionately called the "chopsticks" memorial because of its unusual design. Since its completion and unveiling on 15 February 1967, exactly 25 years after the "Fall of Singapore", every year on 15 February, ex-servicemen, families and others gather at the memorial to commemorate that fateful day.

 


 

The Singapore Cable Car provides an aerial link from Mount Faber on the main island of Singapore to the resort island of Sentosa across the Keppel Harbour. Opened on 15 February 1974, it was the first aerial ropeway system in the world to span a harbour. The S$5.8 million project began in 1972. The system ply between the Jewel Box Station on Mount Faber, 93 meters above sea level, and Sentosa Station, 47 meters above sea level. In between these two "terminals" is the HarbourFront Station, 69 meters above sea level. In addition, there are two supporting towers which are each 80 meters in height. The total distance between Mount Faber and Sentosa station is 1650 meters.

 


 

The Battle Box at Fort Canning is a World War II underground bunker with 26 rooms. It is 9 meters (20 feet deep), and used by British force as a communication centre in the war against the Japanese in Malaya campaign in 1942. In 1945 when the Japanese surrender back to British, the bunker was sealed off. The Battle Box reopened to public on 15 February 1997, exactly 55 years after the fall of Singapore.

 


 

Odeon was Cathay Organisation's flagship cinema and its most successful box-office earner in Singapore. Designed by architectural firm Palmer and Turner, it was built in 1953 at the junction of North Bridge Road and Cashin Street, where Odeon Tower and K H Kea Building are now located. Due to its prime location, Odeon became the favourite hangout for students of the schools in the vicinity such as St Joseph, Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, St Nicholas and Catholic High. On 15 February 1980, Odeon set another record by being the first cinema in Singapore to deliver movie in Dolby Sound when it screened Zulu Dawn at midnight. Odeon was sold to United Overseas Land in 1984, and the building was later demolished to make way for new developments.

 


 

When the British forces left Singapore, the Johor Battery was forgotten until the Singapore Prisons Service discovered it during a routine cleaning at its Abington Centre in April 1991. The place was then spruced up with a replica of the 15-inch gun and an 800 kg shell, and marked as the 60th historic site. The historical site was officially launched on 15 February 2002 as part of a commemorative programme for the 60th anniversary of the fall of Singapore. This event was witnessed by 200 returning POWs, their immediate friends and family members.