Here are shown pictures taken in 1989 of Kranji war cemetery in Singapore. This is a marvellously kept war cemetery and the first picture shows one of the workmen on the left just above the steps and the left hand wall. The second shows more of the grave markers and the cloister at the rear.

Kranji war cemetery Kranji war cemetery

The same week as the Kranji pictures were taken I took some pictures of the Armenian church of St Gregory the Illuminator and the memorials in it’s churchyard which were apparently were brought here from elsewhere in the island. They are complete with what I was assured was Japanese army war damage. The picture of the broken off monument with the plain worded plaque in front of it is the memorial to Agnes Joaquim, the lady who the national flower of Singapore, The Vanda Miss Joaquim Orchid, was named.

Armenian church of St Gregory the Illuminator, 1989. St Gregory the Illuminator, memorials in it’s churchyard. St Gregory the Illuminator, memorial to Agnes Joaquim. 1994.

In 1989 the church appeared to be in excellent condition but it’s appearance was literally only skin deep. In some cases it was literally only about a of an inch skin over wooden laths. When I revisited in 1994 it was undergoing extensive investigation and restoration which was obviously very urgently needed as shown in the pictures of the scaffolded (?) building.

Armenian church of St Gregory the Illuminator, 1994. Armenian church of St Gregory the Illuminator, 1994.

Not too far away from the Armenian Church is the hill which goes under the name of Fort Canning which houses the building (whilst I was there it was being renovated) which was originally the Governors headquarters. Alongside this is an area known as Fort Canning Cemetery which has it’s two original gateways still in position. These were designed and erected by C.E.Faber. Superintending Engineer for the Straits Settlements.

One of the original gateways, Fort Canning Cemetery. Tombstone set in wall, Fort Canning Cemetery.
Broken Column Monument with Wreath, Fort Canning Cemetery. One of original Tombs, Fort Canning Cemetery.

Nearly all of the memorials and grave markers were removed (only three were left) and the inscription plates were built into the walls earlier in the 1900’s and completed to it’s present state in 1977. There are about a dozen large monuments which have been brought here from the Bukit Timah cemetery which was made into a public park.

Near the Fort Canning Cemetery is a small park called, naturally enough, Fort Canning Park and on a section of the hillside stands the monument to the last King of Singapore, ‘Keramat Iskandar Shah.’ Just outside the enclosure, at one corner under his umbrella for rain or shine, stands a little old man who sells joss sticks for burning on the ‘tomb’ in the sand pots.

Monument to the last King of Singapore, ‘Keramat Iskandar Shah’

In Singapore there are numerous other temples and some of the most colourful are the Hindu Temples illustrated by the two shown here. The one with the very tall sets of figures is the Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple which is the oldest Hindu Temple in Singapore. The dedication stone is also from this temple and is dated 1831.

Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple Dedication Stone Hindu Temple on the Keong Sack Road

The Temple with the smaller stack of figures is the Hindu Temple on the Keong Sack Road. Both of these were photographed in August 1994.




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