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Adam Park is the site in the Battle of Singapore where the soldiers of the 1st Battalion Cambridgeshire Regiment fought against the Japanese 41st (Fukuyama) Regiment before the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942.
The estate of 19 black and white bungalow houses built in the late 1920's and early 30's became work camps for 2,000 Australian and 1,000 British prisoners of war from March 1942 to January 1943. They were assigned to build a Shinto shrine on MacRitchie Reservoir area to commemorate Japanese soldiers who died during the battles in Malaya and Singapore.
The Adam Park Project was born in 2009 with Jonathan Cooper as its project manager. It was the year he and his family moved to Singapore. He then realized his rented apartment area is a former battlefield site, and started to explore the site. It is a collaboration between the Singapore Heritage Society and the National University of Singapore with partial sponsorship by the National Heritage Board.
The team unearthed cartridges and bullets, ammunition boxes, a camp radio, a pair of British army boots, regimental badges, grave markers, and many more. A total of more than 1,800 artifacts now are kept in the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute and the Singapore History Consultants.
The mural at the chapel
In 2015, the team found a faint outline of a mural painting in bungalow no. 11 which was believed to be a make-shift chapel for WW II POWs. It is a Bible verse Lift up your heads, O ye Gates and the King of Glory shall Come in. The Adam Park Project website functions as a repository of information and photos of the artifacts, and this 304-page book Tigers In The Park: The Wartime Heritage Of Adam Park which is on sale for $40.
Jon Cooper at the site
This book reveals the untold wartime stories of the estate and the surroundings. It is an account of the survivors; an attempt to explain a missing link in the perceived history during the nine months after the surrender in February 1942. Much has been researched and written about Changi and the marching of POWs to work, and later die, on the Thai Burma Railway but nothing much mentioned about Adam Park.
Please join Jon Cooper, the battlefield archaeologist, this Saturday at Play Den@The Arts House for the launch of Tigers in the Park.