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Tuesday, February 28, 2006 

Memories at Old Ford Factory

Memories at
Old Ford Factory
Last Saturday, I went to the newly opened Memories at Old Ford Factory. Run by National Archives of Singapore, the factory - a gazetted national monument - houses an exhibition about life during the Japanese Occupation. It is rich with accounts and photos of life in Syonan-to.

Why house an exhibition gallery in Bukit Timah? Well, the Old Ford Factory was the place where the British surrendered to the Japanese on 15 February, the first day of Chinese New Year in 1942.

I'm not sure what it was but the exhibition moved me deeply. Over the years, I've read accounts of the war years; I always read them with an air of detachment. Somehow, the exhibits at Old Ford Factory brought the Occupation to life.

Memories at Old Ford Factory
The driveway leading to Memories at the Old Ford Factory. There are information boards along the driveway which describes the Fall of Singapore. It sets the scene for what's to come in the gallery.

Japanese comic depicting the last days of British rule
This comic is among the first things visitors see. It's interesting because we usually speak of the Occupation from the Singapore perspective. The drawings speak volumes about what the Japanese thought of the British. Nevertheless, I wish I knew what was written.

Percival and Yamashita
Percival and Yamashita. If they could speak, what would they say?

POW exhibit
A young Singaporean finds out about life as a Prisoner of War in Singapore.

Lim Bo Seng's diary
Lim Bo Seng's diary: "We then took leave of each other. The children were too stupefied to realise what was happening. Each of them kissed me goodbye. I shall never forget their tear-stained faces as long as I live."

Wedding Dress
Life went on during the war. People got married and had children. This wedding dress bears testament to that.

Wartime Garden
The wartime garden (behind the building) shows the types of plants that were important to the people during the war. Not many people seem to be aware of the existence of the garden.

Visitor information
More photos
Video of the surrender from Singapore Paranormal Investigators. I don't subscribe to their views, but their page has interesting historical photos and information.


Interesting post.... Didn't know abt this "attraction". Makes me feel like going. =)

I love war stories. But I am such an emotional person when I see/read the kind of sufferings they went through. I remember donating my precious tears for Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbour, shows and stories relating to WWII.

Yes. But I won't apologize for being Ms Softie. :P

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jon loh

Yes, do go when you can. It's really worth the time. I spent the whole morning there.

Interesting post. I am hoping to visit it soon. Thanks for your nice photos.

Thanks for the compliment! My pleasure sharing the photos... Hope to hear about your visit some time.

Percival would've said, "Sorry old chap, but I screwed up big time. I gave up because I was just too tired to fight,"

Yamashita would have heaved a mighty sigh of relief and whispered to his aide, "Wah heng ah they never call my bluff,"


Elvina - Whoa. You're the only girl other than my sis I know so far who has cried at Band of Brothers and Black Hawk Down. Always thought that us boys would be the ones crying at scenes of fallen comrades in war movies like that. Can I interest you in a visit to the Old Ford Factory with me sometime soon? I promise I won't bite. :)

Thanks for the article. Frankly, I had been marketing the neighbouring condo units at Hume Ave. and never realised about the Old Ford Factory.

The Oriental Express will stop its tracks at the Old Ford Factory one day.

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