Forgotten Names Recalled: The Singapore Cenotaph Project

Until the early 1970s Singapore was a major base for the British military. Large parts of the island were military bases, shown on the maps of the time as 'Crown Land'.

One such area was Portsdown Road, today bounded by North Buona Vista Road, the Ayer Rajah Expressway and a new road built in the past decade called Portsdown Avenue. The building of this new road marked the beginning of the end for the rural feel the area possessed. Although pockets of green still remain, the Porstdown Road area has changed beyond recognition for anyone who knew it before 2006. The well-known Colbar (which stands for 'Colonial Bar') was once located beneath what is now the tarmac of the new road. Fortunately this quirky little cafe was saved and relocated to continue its spam, egg and chips menu that once catered to the military personnel and their families. Nowadays its customers are mainly expatriates.

Another major change came with the relocation of the Singapore Armed Forces camps that took over from the British Army. Slim Barracks was one three camps that closed, survived only by a new road name, Slim Barracks Rise. In their place modern high-rises for media- and scientific-related businesses have been built and are still being built. However, most of the army housing still remains, for now at least.

Owned by the Singapore government, theses houses and apartments are available for rent, although at times the policies change and they can lie empty for months or years. The houses were once homes to British Army officers and the flats to other ranks and their families. The flats are all named after battles: Waterloo, Blenheim, Coruna and so on. A few are named after First World War battles and today we took photographs of these. How much longer they will last is anybody's guess. The land they sit on is generous, green, lush and probably slated for future development.

CWGC Arras Memorial


CWGC Cambrai Memorial


In Flanders Fields Museum commemorates the Battles Ypres. CWGC Ypres Salient Cemeteries.


CWGC Gallipoli Campaign Cemeteries.


Battle of the Marne 1914 and Battle of the Marne 1918.


CWGC Mons (Bergen) Communal Cemetery.


CWGC Vimy Memorial.

Rosemary Lim