Surviving the Japanese Occupation: War and its Legacies is a permanent World War Two exhibition presented by the National Archives of Singapore at the historic Former Ford Factory. This was the place where the British forces surrendered unconditionally to the Imperial Japanese Army on 15 February 1942. The exhibition presents the events and memories surrounding the British surrender, the Japanese occupation of Singapore, and outlines the legacies of the war. Through oral history accounts, archival records and published material, the exhibition highlights the diverse experiences of people in Singapore during this crucial time of in our history.

‘The British left us with the impression that Singapore was impregnable … no one thought for a moment that the Japanese would really attack. We thought that it was just a bluff.’
Oral history interview with Lee Kip Lin 

‘People were actually starving throughout the Occupation … They did all kinds of things to keep their life and soul together.’
Oral history interview with Valupillai s/o Pandarapillai 

‘There are lots of bad things that happen in war, lots of gruesome things, lots of unhappy things … At that time, you don’t distinguish. You just say, ‘Ah, Japanese, all of them are like that.’ But today with so many years elapsing, you look back and you can see not all of them were like that.’
Oral history interview with Dr Christopher Gnanaretnam Thevathasan

British Military Administration records pertaining to the case of Joseph Francis, who was detained and tortured for over six months by the Kempeitai (Japanese military police) for smuggling information and a transmitter to the prisoners of war at Changi Camp. He eventually succumbed to the effects of the torture and died in May 1945.



351 Upper Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 588192
Tel: 6462 6724

Opening Hours

Monday – Saturday: 9.00 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.
Sunday: 12 noon – 5.30 p.m.


Admission fee $3

Free admission for:

  • All children under 6
  • Singaporeans and Permanent Residents
  • Singapore student pass holders
  • Museum Roundtable members
  • Free admission for all on Open House days

Getting There


Bus Services to Upper Bukit Timah Road
67, 75, 170, 171, 173, 178, 184, 961


Hillview MRT:
Take bus 67, 170, 171, 961 and alight opposite The Hillside

Beauty World MRT:
Take bus 67, 75, 170, 961 and alight after Old Jurong Road