The Cenotaph, Singapore

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The Cenotaph
Singapore The-Cenotaph-01.jpg
The Cenotaph is Singapore's first major war memorial
Used for those deceased (1914–1918), (1941–1945)
Established November 15, 1920 (1920-11-15)
Unveiled March 31, 1922 (1922-03-31)
Location 1°17′25″N103°51′13.3″E / 1.29028°N 103.853694°E / 1.29028; 103.853694 Coordinates: 1°17′25″N103°51′13.3″E / 1.29028°N 103.853694°E / 1.29028; 103.853694
Esplanade Park
near  Downtown Core, Singapore
Designed by Denis Santry of Swan and Maclaren
Designated 28 December 2010

The Cenotaph (Chinese: 战亡纪念碑) is a war memorial located within the Esplanade Park at Connaught Drive, within the Central Area in Singapore's central business district.

War memorial type of memorial

A war memorial is a building, monument, statue or other edifice to celebrate a war or victory, or to commemorate those who died or were injured in a war.

Esplanade Park historic park originally built in 1943 located in the Esplanade within the Downtown Core of the Central Area in Singapores central business district.

The Esplanade Park is a historic park located at the Esplanade within the Downtown Core of the Central Area of Singapore.

Connaught Drive Road in Singapore

Connaught Drive is a one-way road linking Stamford Road to Fullerton Road on the northern side of the Singapore River within the Downtown Core in Singapore. On the left side of the road, it is Esplanade Park, and on the right is The Padang. Before the Esplanade Bridge was opened in 1997, the road was used by vehicles from Marina Centre and Nicoll Highway to cross the Singapore River. The road is still used by several bus services and is used as a car park on both sides on the road as well as for coach parking.



The inscription at the base of The Cenotaph reads:

They died so we might live.

The Cenotaph was built in memory of the 124 British soldiers born or resident in Singapore who gave their lives in World War I (1914–1918), with a second dedication (but no names) added in remembrance of those who died in World War II (1941–1945).

Soldier one who fights as part of an organized armed force

A soldier is one who fights as part of an army. A soldier can be a conscripted or volunteer enlisted person, a non-commissioned officer, or an officer.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Dedication is the act of consecrating an altar, temple, church, or other sacred building. It also refers to the inscription of books or other artifacts when these are specifically addressed or presented to a particular person. This practice, which once was used to gain the patronage and support of the person so addressed, is now only a mark of affection or regard. In law, the word is used of the setting apart by a private owner of a road to public use.

The structure was designed by Denis Santry of Swan and Maclaren. The foundation stone was laid by Sir Lawrence Nunns Guillemard, the Governor of the Straits Settlements, on 15 November 1920. In attendance was the visiting French Premier, Georges Clemenceau who was the French Minister of War from 1917 to 1919.

Laurence Guillemard British Colonial Governor

Sir Laurence Nunns Guillemard was a British civil servant who served as high commissioner in Malaya when it was under the British Empire.

Straits Settlements former group of British territories located in Southeast Asia

The Straits Settlements were a group of British territories located in Southeast Asia. Originally established in 1826 as part of the territories controlled by the British East India Company, the Straits Settlements came under direct British control as a Crown colony on 1 April 1867. The colony was dissolved in 1946 as part of the British reorganisation of its Southeast Asian dependencies following the end of the Second World War.

Prime Minister of France head of government and of the Council of Ministers of France

The French Prime Minister in the Fifth Republic is the head of government. During the Third and Fourth Republics, the head of government position was called President of the Council of Ministers, generally shortened to President of the Council.

The memorial was completed in 1922, and was unveiled on 31 March that year by the young Prince Edward of Wales, later King Edward VIII then Duke of Windsor, during his Asia-Pacific tour. During the unveiling ceremony, a chaplain blessed the Cenotaph with the words, "The stone is well laid and truly laid to the Glory of God and the memory of the illustrious dead." Against the backdrop of the sea then fronting Queen Elizabeth Walk, Governor Guillemard awarded medals of courage to those who had served in the war.

Ceremony event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion

A ceremony is an event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion. The word may be of Etruscan origin, via the Latin caerimonia.

Chaplain Provider of pastoral care, often a minister of a religious tradition, attached to an institution

A chaplain is, traditionally, a cleric, or a lay representative of a religious tradition, attached to a secular institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, school, labor union, business, police department, fire department, university, or private chapel.

In religion, a blessing is the infusion of something with holiness, spiritual redemption, or divine will.

In Prince Edward's entourage was Louis Mountbatten. At the end of World War II, Mountbatten returned to Singapore as the Supreme Commander of the South East Asia Command to receive the surrender of the Japanese at City Hall on 12 September 1945.

South East Asia Command (SEAC) was the body set up to be in overall charge of Allied operations in the South-East Asian Theatre during World War II.

Surrender (military) cessation of fighting by the losing party

Surrender, in military terms, is the relinquishment of control over territory, combatants, fortifications, ships or armament to another power. A surrender may be accomplished peacefully, without fighting, or it may be the result of defeat in battle. A sovereign state may surrender following defeat in a war, usually by signing a peace treaty or capitulation agreement. A battlefield surrender, either by individuals or when ordered by officers, normally results in those surrendering becoming prisoners of war.

Imperial Japanese Army Official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan, from 1868 to 1945

The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. Later an Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ), an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, and the Inspector General of Military Training.

National Monument

In 28 December 2010, The Cenotaph was gazetted by Preservation of Monuments Board as a National Monument along with Lim Bo Seng Memorial and Tan Kim Seng Fountain at the Esplanade Park and the Singapore Conference Hall along Shenton Way. [1] [2]

Lim Bo Seng Memorial

The Lim Bo Seng Memorial is a octagonal pagoda-like war memorial at Esplanade Park, Singapore. It was erected in 1954 in honour of the late Lim Bo Seng for his heroic acts and selfless sacrifice during the World War II. The war memorial is the only structure in Singapore that commemorates an individual’s efforts in World War II and was gazetted as a national monument in 28 December 2010.

Tan Kim Seng Fountain

The Tan Kim Seng Fountain is a fountain in Singapore that was erected in 1882 in honor of notable philanthropist Tan Kim Seng for his donations for the Singapore’s first reservoir and waterworks.

Singapore Conference Hall

Singapore Conference Hall is a multipurpose building located in the heart of the financial district of Shenton Way in Downtown Core of Singapore. The first building to be constructed along Shenton Way, it was a place for conferences and exhibitions in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, it is refurbished and modernized into a concert hall, home to the Singapore Chinese Orchestra since 2001. Completed in 1965 at a cost of S$4 million at that time, it was an example of the nation's urban architecture then. The building is situated on a three-acre site at the junction of Shenton Way and Maxwell Road.

Vandalism incident

On 23 April 2013, the Cenotaph was vandalised by someone who sprayed the word "DEMOCRACY" on the monument as well as an "X" which crossed out the text "1914 to 1918". Six days later, Mohamad Khalid Mohamad Yusop, a Singaporean, was arrested and charged with one count of vandalism under the Vandalism Act. [3] [4] On 26 August 2013, a district court ordered Khalid to pay S$208 for the cost of repairs in addition to sentencing him to three months' jail and three strokes of the cane. [5]

See also

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  1. "Preservation of Monuments Order 2010".
  2. "PMB declares 4 landmarks as national monuments".
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2013-04-29.
  4. "Alleged vandal charged with defacing Cenotaph war memorial". Channel NewsAsia. 29 Apr 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2013-04-29.