Civilian War Memorial
Civilian War Memorial
4
The area
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Neighborhood: Marina Bay
More of a mini city than a neighborhood in the traditional sense, the iconic Marina Bay aims to dazzle and entertain visitors of all kinds. This is the Singapore found in glossy brochures, featuring a world-class hotel, casino, shops, restaurants, bars, and other attractions all geared towards pure entertainment. The SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands provides a stunning view of the city, a must-see photo opportunity for visitors and locals alike. The ArtScience Museum always has a top-quality exhibition, and Gardens by the Bay is a fascinating manifestation of the government’s vision of Singapore as a “city in a garden”. Enticing Marina Bay is well worth a visit.

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Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles146 reviews
Excellent
37
Very good
65
Average
42
Poor
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0

macedonboy
Glasgow, UK185,037 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
This memorial is a monument to the civilians who died during the Japanese occupation in the Second World War. The monument consists of 4 identical columns placed together in a square. Each column is slightly triangular in shape, so when viewed from far away enough, the 4 columns appear as a single structure and the appearance of an obelisk. At the centre of the monument is a single urn, representing the ashes of the civilians who died. Around the monument are words written in all the major languages of Singapore as a poignant reminder of the unity of Singapore.
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kim buay p
Singapore, Singapore12,824 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
The War Memorial Park is surrounded by iconic buildings such as Raffles Hotel, Raffles City, South Beach etc. It provides a green and calm respite from the busy city life. The walkways to the Civilian War Memorial are lined with the Belinjau trees as its conical shape complements the structure of the memorial.
Another feature seen here are the remains of the Stamford Bridge.
Stamford Canal is now a covered culvert lying parallel to Stamford Road. Long ago, water from this canal would overflow during high tide. Stamford Bridge was first permanent bridge constructed over Stamford Canal in 1956. Today the canal is covered and turned into a walkway and the bridges were demolished.
The remains of Stamford Bridge are two structures which were used to mark its piers. These structures resemble small walls of chiselled stone with a height of about 1 metre. On each wall is a single black metal plate with the words:
“1956 Stamford Bridge”.
Written October 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL21,773 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Singapore has so many great parks and this is another one next to the Padang and close to St Andrew’s Cathedral. We walked past it a couple of times. The center of the park is the memorial to those who preserved through the Japanese occupation. It is an interesting vertical white monument that sometimes get lost in the white skyscrapers that surround it. You can’t miss it if you are anywhere between Marina Bay and the colonial historic district. It is particularly noticeable at night when lit up.
Written February 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

paul g
Brisbane, Australia810 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2017 • Solo
Although the monument is right in the city area, due to the fact it's surrounded by a good sized park area it is quite a serene and reverent place. It serves as a good reminder of sacrifices made during war time and it is impeccably maintained. Locals use the park quite a bit but there is certanly no disrespect.
Written July 8, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2014FpvGt
Swan View, Australia2,919 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017 • Couples
An interesting memorial to the Civilians that lost their lives during a terrible time in Singapore History.
It is great that the Chinese Chamber Of Commerce, The Singapore Government & People decided to raise funds for this Memorial.
May be better to have a night time look.
Free entry.
Written March 31, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The_Pale_Ridah
Gladesville, Australia1,959 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2013 • Couples
After smashing the British-who believed Singapore was an invincible fortress, the Japanese initiated a revenge campaign of terror targeting Chinese-Singaporean men via kidnappings & arrests, killing them with bayonets, machetes & reckless thought. An estimated 70,000 men between the ages of 18 to 50 were murdered by the Japanese secret police who’s leader trained in Germany with the Nazi Schutzstaffel also known as the SS, Adolf Hitler’s secret police.

Known as the Sook Ching Massacre, the ethnic cleansing here takes a backseat to the better known Fall of Singapore on Feb 15th when the Japanese took 130,000 Allied soldiers prisoner, described by Winston Churchill as Britain’s worst military disaster in its long history. Numerous mass graves & burial pits were discovered after the war, an unspeakable tragedy. The human remains were recovered, cremated & reburied in a chamber under the Civilian War Memorial, built to honour these victims in the heart of the city.

The design features 4 long pillars at 222 feet, representing the 4 main ethnic groups that made up the population of Singapore English, Chinese, Indian & Malay. Locally known as the ‘chopsticks’, the towering height of the structure gives it a commanding presence over its simplistic design. In 2013 it become a national monument on the anniversary of Singapore’s surrender to the Japanese on the 15th February. The inscription in 4 languages has no poetic statement, inspirational quotes or even any harsh words towards the Japanese, it is just a solem space. Standing directly underneath the four pillars, looking up gives visitors an unusual view of the monument, it is a simple yet thought provoking.

In 1965 after gaining independence, the Singaporean government representing the people demanded reparations & an official apology from the Japanese. The government instead accepted $25 million dollars in compensation, another $25 million dollars in interest-free loans & agreed to forget the apology. This is what is wrong with our world, when human lives are considered so cheap that a simple sorry is too complicated to say.

Within walking distance to City Hall MRT, Chijimes Cathedral, the Raffles Hotel & the Cenotaph.
Written July 9, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

trainfan2000
Hamilton, Canada2,550 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2012 • Couples
The Civilian War Memorial is a monument dedicated to civilians who perished during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore (1942-1945). Most people will look at the memorial and realize that it is an interesting piece of architecture set in a park. The casual tourist may stop, take a picture, and just keep going. Many do not realize that the monument is built on a burial chamber which contains ashes of thousands of unknown civilians exhumed from mass graves of civilians that were killed during the Japanese occupation of Singapore in World War 2. This memorial provides an opportunity to stop and reflect on what happened to the people living in this city in a time of war. It is more than a memorial, it is the resting place for many civilians killed in the war.
Written January 26, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KGB777
Singapore, Singapore41,411 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Solo
The history of Japanese atrocities before and during WW2 continues to be something which generates much anger in Asia, and especially perceptions of the failure of the Japanese government to properly acknowledge the crimes committed by its armed forces. This monument recognises the atrocious treatment of the Singaporean civilian population during the occupation, but Singapore itself has moved on and does not seem to hold a long term grudge against Japan in the same way as the Koreas and China do.
Written November 22, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Explorer T
Singapore, Singapore268 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Solo
A memorial for civilians who died during WWII in Singapore.
Peaceful park with fountains and it is located in the midst of shopping malls, museums and very near Esplanade/City Hall mrt.
Written March 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dimo CH
Kolomna, Russia375 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018
During the Japanese Empire's occupation of Singapore during the Pacific War (1942–1945), thousands of ethnic Chinese were killed in the Sook Ching massacre. In an effort to remove anti-Japanese elements in Singapore, Chinese men between the ages of 18 and 50 were to report to the Kempeitai, the Imperial Japanese Army military police. The death toll was reported to be 6,000 by the Japanese, but official estimates range between 25,000 and 50,000.[1]

In February 1962, remains belonging to civilian victims of the Japanese occupation were unearthed in areas like Siglap, Changi and Bukit Timah. The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCC) undertook the responsibility of gathering the remains and creating a memorial.

On 13 March 1963, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew set aside a plot of land at Beach Road for the building of a memorial dedicated to the civilians killed in World War II. The SCCC set up a fund committee that was later enlarged to include all ethnic groups due to good response from the community. With the support of the Government and contributions from the public, construction of the memorial was able to start.

Construction of the memorial began on 23 April 1966. The memorial was completed in January 1967 at a total construction cost of about S$500,000.

On 15 February 1967, the Civilian War Memorial was officially unveiled by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who laid a wreath at the memorial. Every year on 15 February (Total Defence Day in Singapore, commemorating the 1942 surrender of Singapore to the Japanese), a memorial service is held at the Civilian War Memorial to remember the victims of the war.
Written February 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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