In this section, you will find interviews from the theme – Japanese Occupation.
Abu Bakar Ali [Accession No: 1755] [Full interview]
Abu Bakar Ali worked as an apprentice for the Japanese at a shipyard during the Japanese Occupation. He was also a labourer for the Royal Marines and an engine driver for the British Army, before joining the Marine Department as a lighthouse fitter. Thereafter, he landed a job at Port of Singapore Authority (PSA). He was also involved in community work, and the Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC).
1. Japanese School [ Download ]
2. Scarcity of Food and Survival Skills [ Download ]
3. Life of a Lighthouse Crew Member [ Download ]
NG, Seng Yong [Accession No: 283] [Full interview]
Ng Seng Yong worked in Chop Hup Guan before the war. His company supplied goods to the Royal Army Ordinance Corps. He was also involved with Air Raid Precaution (ARP) exercises. Ng later escaped from the mass screening centre at Telok Kurau English School and worked for his friend as an overseer of his contracting jobs. Interviewee then started a brokerage business and also doubled as a pawnbroker for gambling dens at the New World Amusement Park. After the British returned, Ng applied to the Naval Base to become a contractor until 1948.
1. Mass Screening at Telok Kurau Concentration Camp [ Download ]
2. Conditions in the Telok Kurau Concentration Camp [ Download ]
CHAN, Cheng Yean 曾清渊 [Accession No: 000248] [Full interview]
Sook Ching massacre survivor Chan Cheng Yean was born in 1918 in Malacca and joined the Malacca Volunteer Corps (MVC) in 1936. He underwent training with the Singapore Volunteer Corps (SVC) in 1940 and a year later, he was sent to Singapore to help defend the island. Chan was captured by the Japanese but eventually escaped and recounted having a bullet removed from his knee. Chan was later awarded medals for his services.
1. Escaping the Execution [ Download ]
2. Further Description of the Escape [ Download ]
CHANDRAN-DUDLEY, Ron [Accession No: 003012] [Full interview]
Ron Chandran-Dudley was a champion of individuals with disabilities. Upon losing his sight, he grew to love classical music. Ron was involved in the International Bazaar in Aid of the Blind at Victoria Memorial Hall in 1956, as well as the Experimental Theatre Club (ETC). Interviewee was chosen to be a patron of the Theatre of Difference, and also had a part to play in the founding of the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association, Disabled Peoples’ International, and Open Education Programmes for the visually handicapped. Interviewee also shared his vision for Singapore to be a socially conscious and culturally vibrant nation.
1. Confiscation of English Books during the Japanese Occupation [ Download ]
2. The Implications of Owning a Radio during the Japanese Occupation [ Download ]
GAY, Wan Guay 倪员外 [Accession No: 000374] [Full interview]
When the war began, Gay Wan Guay joined the Air Raid Precaution. He later became an assistant evacuation officer and mobilised vehicles to help people evacuate. Interviewee was influenced by his friends to go to Endau in Johor, where he set up his stall before returning to teaching after the Japanese surrendered. Gay was also involved in cultural performances which were staged for the local people.
1. Impressions of the Japanese Soldiers [ Download ]
2. Learning and Teaching the Japanese Language [ Download ]
HENG, Chiang Ki [Accession No: 152] [Full interview]
Heng Chiang Ki was a canteen boy for Kaigun Daini Suikosh during the Japanese Occupation, during which he was detained at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Detention Centre. He also survived a mass screening at Arab Street Centre.
1. Strict with Criminals [ Download ]
2. Japanese Money Rendered Worthless [ Download ]
LEE, Kip Lin [Accession No: 16] [Full interview]
An architect, professor, and author, Lee Kip Lin’s education was put on hold for almost four years because of the Japanese Occupation. He was able to continue with his studies only after the surrender of the Japanese in 1945. At the start of the Japanese Occupation in February 1942, Lee survived a mass screening of thousands of male Chinese civilians at the Telok Kurau English School, which was converted into a concentration camp. He was also a champion of the preservation and conservation of old buildings in Singapore.
1. First Bombing of Singapore [ Download ]
2. Different Faces of the Japanese [ Download ]
3. Early Life during the Japanese Occupation [ Download ]
MONTEIRO, Ernest Steven (Prof) [Accession No: 488] [Full interview]
Ernest Steven Monteiro was born in 1904 and had his education at Raffles Institution. He obtained a scholarship to join King Edward VII College of Medicine, graduating in 1929. During the Japanese Occupation, he was appointed the Director of Middleton Hospital, and produced an anti-diphtheria serum from goats due to the shortage of medicine. Interviewee also found the cure for cardiac beriberi, typhoid, and diphtheria. He eventually left university for Cambodia as an ambassador in 1965, and started his own practice after leaving the diplomatic service.
1. Producing a Life-Saving Serum [ Download ]
2. Local and Expatriate Doctors during the Japanese Occupation [ Download ]
PETROVSKY, Constantine Constantinovich [Accession No: 229] [Full interview]
Dr Constantine Constantinovich Petrovsky joined the British Army in Hong Kong when the war started. On the way to Europe, they stopped in Singapore. His unit was given duties to look after the casualties in Alexandra Hospital, where the massacre by Japanese Imperial Guards took place. On the day of British surrender, Petrovsky’s unit was ordered to take the wounded to Roberts Barracks in Changi. He was then sent to Burma-Siam Railway. When the Japanese surrendered, they were repatriated to England. He later decided to join the army again and was posted to India.
1. Massacre at Alexandra Hospital [ Download ]
2. Living Conditions in the Barracks [ Download ]
3. Concealing Radios [ Download ]
THOMPSON, Arthur Alexander [Accession No: 143] [Full interview]
Arthur Alexander Thompson sat for his Senior Cambridge examination on the morning after Japan first bombed Singapore. Six months after his family registered as enemy aliens, they were interned at Sime Road Camp. Interviewee had to bury the dead at the camp towards the end of the Japanese Occupation. He also witnessed the Japanese surrender ceremony at the Padang.
1. Food for Christmas [ Download ]
2. How the Japanese Occupation Affected Singapore [ Download ]