Did you know that Singapore was once involved a war? Do you know how, why and when it started? Or who we fought against? Food was scarce during the war – do you have any idea what people ate then?
This Children’s Season, we’ve prepared a special edition of online activities “at” the Former Ford Factory (FFF). Parents and children* can learn about life during the Japanese Occupation in Singapore, the hardships our forefathers endured as well as listen to powerful survivor stories. Read on and try these activities for yourself. Enjoy!
*Suitable for children aged 7 – 12 years old
The first bombs dropped on Singapore on 8 December 1941, shortly after 4am. Japanese planes and naval ships bombed Chinatown, Raffles Place and the Seletar and Tengah airfields.
By February the following year, the British troops were exhausted and running low on supplies such as ammunition, petrol, water and food. British Army Commander, Lieutenant-General Arthur E. Percival, then made the difficult decision to surrender Singapore to the Japanese.
The official surrender took place on 15 February 1942 at the Japanese military headquarters located at the Ford Factory in Upper Bukit Timah.
The two photos above can be found on the NAS Archives Online website. Try your hand at searching for images on the war and Japanese Occupation by using the following keywords.
Read the following excerpts from oral history interviews of people who lived through and survived the Japanese Occupation.
How do you think the people of Singapore felt towards the British and Japanese after the British surrender of Singapore?
An air raid siren was sounded to warn people of an impending attack. Have you heard an air raid siren before? Click here to listen to two types of warning sirens used in Britain during World War II. How do you feel when you hear it?
Did you know that Total Defence Day coincides with the surrender date of 15 February every year? Does the Total Defence siren today sound the same as the air raid sirens of the past? Click here to listen to the Total Defence siren.
Retrieved from NewspaperSG
Listen to the oral history interview with Abu Bakar Bin Ali, a Japanese Occupation survivor.
Fancy going back in time to learn more about the Japanese Occupation of Singapore? You can visit the actual site of surrender and view the exhibition, Surviving the Japanese Occupation: War and Its Legacies at the Former Ford Factory.
Click here to find out more about the Former Ford Factory and its opening hours.
Did you know that you can also find many digital resources on the Japanese Occupation from NAS and NLB websites?
Explore these resources and dig up more information for your own discovery of Singapore history!