Step into Singapore’s Past with WWII Memorabilia

1942 was the year Singapore fell to the hands of the Japanese during World War II (WWII) and the British army surrendered the country. Although this event has been well-documented for the past 80 years, there is still lesser-known information surrounding it. For the first time ever, you’ll get a chance to see WWII artifacts from private collections on display publicly that will shed light on various narratives about the Japanese invasion and occupation period.

It’s not hard to conceive that many items from WWII would have been discarded. But some artifacts remain. Things like an armband from the Kempeitai (Japanese military police) and a military hardware requisition slip to check out weapons have been painstakingly collected over the years and kept in near pristine condition by the collectors. These WWII memorabilia and much more form part of a display of some 150 pieces borrowed from private collections. Some of these have never been seen publicly and include rare items you might only have read about in history books.

In conjunction with the exhibition, there will be programmes that tell the stories of World War II and the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. This includes an “Archives Invites” talk by Mr. Sng, one of the collectors, on some of the significant artifacts featured and the stories behind them. There will also be specially curated film screenings by the Asian Film Archive. The memorabilia can be viewed at the National Archives of Singapore (level 3), up until 30 June 2022.

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