William Henry Macleod Read, K.C.N.L., C.M.G., affectionately known as WH, was an established businessman and an active contributor to political and social interests, in the almost 46 years of his life in Singapore, Treasurer of the first Singapore public library and Honorary Police Magistrate. He was one of the strongest advocates of Singapore's independence. Read Bridge and Read Street are named after him. On 8 July 1854, he was first to join the Straits Settlements Volunteer Corps and remained active for 25 years.



The origins of the People’s Defence Force (PDF) can be traced to the formation of the Singapore Volunteer Rifle Corps (SVRC) on 8 July 1854 to assist the local constabulary during the colonial rule. It was formed by European residents living in Singapore. However, the SVRC was a private military force. In 1857, the Indian Government passed the Volunteer Ordinance, which placed the SVRC under government control. In 1888, the Singapore Volunteer Artillery Corps (SVA) replaced the SVRC. In 1901, the SVA was expanded and a new force known as the Singapore Volunteer Corps (SVC) was formed. It comprised the artillery, infantry, engineers and the rifle sections. Over the years, the SVC became more of an island defence force, with its own guns and artillery. In 1915, the SVC played a major role in suppressing the Sepoy Mutiny. In 1921, the SVC and the other Straits Settlements corps merged to form the Straits Settlements Volunteer Force (SSVF). The Singapore Volunteer Corps headquarters was at Beach Road Camp.



On 8 July 1945, Bose laid the foundation stone of the INA (Indian National Army) War Memorial at the Esplanade, Singapore to commemorate the “Unknown Warrior” of the INA. The words inscribed upon the War Memorial were the motto of the INA: Unity (Ittefaq), Faith (Etmad) and Sacrifice (Kurbani). The foundation stone was laid just months before Singapore returned into British hands, and was completed by the Japanese within a month. The monument was influenced by Subhas Chandra Bose, the co-founder of the INA and Head of State of the Provisional Government of Free India, who also laid the foundation stone for the monument. The INA was backed by the Japanese forces for its goal of liberating India from its British colonial masters.



On 8 July 1966, Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) officially became an independent savings bank in Singapore to provide a means for the deposit of savings, encourage thrift and mobilise domestic resources for public development. Dr Goh saw the possibility of tapping the national savings for projects leading to national development and called for initiatives to raise the amount of deposits in the POSB. The POSB was an important financial resource.



On 8 July 1985, first open mobilisation conducted by SAF. About 10,000 NSmen were recalled via broadcast messages on TV, radio and cinema notices.




Launching the Fullerton Heritage Gallery in the precinct on 8 July 2010, Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Lui Tuck Yew said it will bring life to the rich history and heritage of the area.