Kranji War Memorial

Kranji War Memorial

The air is light, and the grass is moist from dew. In elegant rows, thousands of grey tombs dot the gentle slope. The lawn is neatly kept, owing to the caretakers’ constant attention and the lack of human footprints. Only a few visitors sign the register near the entrance.

Kranji War Memorial Landmark in Singapore. Image Source (Visit Singapore Official Site)
Kranji War Memorial – Singapore. Image Source (Times of India Travel)
Bell of remembrance rung at Kranji War Cemetery to mark 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore, Singapore News & Top Stories. Image Source (The Straits Times)

A cross and a large building are located at the top of this hill. At the Kranji War Memorial, there are approximately 24,000 heroes who have been forgotten. They are commemorated and remembered on November 11th, dubbed Remembrance Day. It is celebrated on the Sunday immediately following 11 November each year to commemorate the end of World War I and the Armistice that ended it.

Memory-Making ‘from Below’: Rescaling Remembrance at the Kranji War Memorial and Cemetery, Singapore. Image Source (SAGE Journals)
Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore picture, by Wayne Cheah for: war memorials 2 photography contest. Image Source (
Cemetery Details. Image Source (CWGC)

The significance of the Kranji site is significant. Japanese Imperial Guards breached the British defence of Singapore and landed by the mouth of the Kranji River on February 9, 1942. From 1942 to 1945, Singapore was governed by the Japanese in what is known as the Japanese Occupation. The Kranji War Memorial is a stoic reminder of vigilance despite recent decades of peace and stability in Singapore.

Graves of the unknown, Kranji war cemetery, Singapore. Image Source (Flickr)
Kranji War Memorial Park Singapore. Image Source (The New Age Parents)

The cemetery’s monument honours soldiers from the Allied Forces who perished in the conflict and is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The design, which is intended to symbolize the three arms of protection, has received much attention. The symbols of the Army, which are known as “clown masks,” appear in various colours: red, green, and blue. In fact, one may find a clown mask at almost any location where a military unit is stationed. They are often worn by soldiers when they march or perform some other task in which they must stand and move in columns The Air Force is represented by the wings of a plane that have been moulded over the columns. The top is designed like a submarine’s sail to symbolize the Navy.

Adjacent to the monument is the Military Cemetery, which contains graves of soldiers who fought for Singapore’s independence; and the Singapore State Cemetery, which holds the remains of Yusok bin Ishak and Benjamin Henry Sheares, Singapore’s first two presidents.

Tomb of President Benjamin Sheares.jpg. Image Source (Wikimedia Commons)
Kranji War Memorial: a scene of calm in a dark period of history. Image Source (Cemetery Details | CWGC)