Monday, March 05, 2012

Communal trenches of war victims in Bukit Brown

World War II and the invasion of Singapore by the Japanese military forces were dark times. During the period before and after fall of Singapore, there were many deaths, and many of the dead were put into communal trenches, some of these happen to be also at Bukit Brown.

Records of individual burials continued until 12 Feb 1942, then stopped for a while (reflecting the chaotic week leading to fall of Singapore on 15 Feb and the records continued again on 24.2.1942. Also interesting to note that burial records written from March onwards, the entry date started to reflect the Japanese Koki calender which starts from 660 BC, so 1942 would have been listed as 2602 or simply 02

4 fallen soldiers
An interesting find i made is a record entry of 4 soldiers-yes an entry that mentions 4 soldiers buried together at Block 1 Section A plot 340B on 27.03.1942. In this case, definitely evidence of casualty of the war and graves of unknown warriors.


Mass Burials 
As i scan through the archive records of the Burial registers, list of mass number of bodies brought to Bukit Brown became more frequent in the earlier months after the fall of Singapore. I found out from history enthusiast Raymond Goh that S.M.C means Singapore Municipal Council and records were kept of this lorries carrying dead bodies to Bukit Brown. Were they victims of torture of the Japan Administration?  Unless further research is done and the bodies are found, this remains for now a mystery on what caused their deaths.


There is ongoing speculation from the history enthusiast such as Raymond Goh, who interviewed  recently the children of a surviving caretaker who was eyewitness to this trenches being filled with bodies on the location of one of these trenches. Will continue to ask where this possible trenches are and post this pictures at a later date.

Extracted from the Burial records of Bukit Brown

S/N 8063 20.03.2602 -   6 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Pauper Section
S/N 8068 20.03.2602 -   19 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Pauper Section
S/N 8086 20.03.2602 -   19 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Pauper Section
S/N 8109 21.03.2602 -   15 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Pauper Section
12 bodies brought into Bukit Brown by Singapore Municipal Council lorry on 22 March 1942
On the 22th alone, 34 bodies were brought in. 
S/N 8130 22.03.2602 -   6 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Trench
S/N 8133 22.03.2602 -   16 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Trench
S/N 8138 22.03.2602 -   12 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Pauper section
S/N 8162 23.03.2602 -   ? bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Pauper section
S/N 8166 23.03.2602 -   12 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Pauper section
S/N 8222 24.03.2602 -   7 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Trench
S/N 8230 24.03.2602 -   17 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Blk 1 Section A
S/N 8326 26.03.2602 -   20 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Blk 1 Section A
S/N 8381 27.03.2603  - 4 soldiers -Blk 1 Section A plot 340B

27.03.1942 - specific mention of soldiers buried
in this case 4 soldiers buried in Block I Section A
S/N 8652 03.04.2602 -   11 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Trench
S/N 8678 04.04.2602 -   6 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Trench
S/N 8687 04.04.2602 -   9 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Trench


S/N 8704 05.04.2602 -   5 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Trench
S/N 8729 05.04.2602 -   4 bodies brought by S.M.C. lorry -Trench
S/N 8769 06.04. 2602 -  8 bodies -Trench
S/N 8795 07.04. 2602 -  6 bodies -Trench
S/N 8815 07.04. 2602 -  16 bodies -Trench
S/N 8795 07.04. 2602 -  6 bodies -Trench
S/N 8823 08.04. 2602 -  7 bodies -Trench
S/N 8855 08.04. 2602 -  3 bodies -Trench
S/N 8897 09.04. 2602 -  7 bodies -Trench
S/N 8939 10.04. 2602 -  16 bodies -Trench
S/N 8965 11.04. 2602 -  17 bodies -Trench
S/N 8855 12.04. 2602 -  3 bodies -Trench
S/N 8993 13.04. 2602 -  11 bodies -Trench

Extracted from Burial records of National Archives (April - June 1942)
S/N 9033 13.04. 2602 -  ? bodies -Trench
S/N 9074 14.04. 2602 -  20 bodies -Trench
S/N 9116 15.04.2602 -   15 bodies -Trench
S/N 9144 16.04.2602 -   15 bodies -Trench
S/N 9144 16.04.2602 -   7 bodies -Trench
S/N 9181 17.04.2602 -   14 bodies -Trench
S/N 9210 18.04.2602 -   13 bodies -Trench
S/N 9235 19.04.2602 -   17 bodies -Trench
S/N 9277 20.04.2602 -   16 bodies -Trench
S/N 9296 21.04.2602 -   14 bodies -Trench
S/N 9339 22.04.2602 -   16 bodies -Trench
S/N 9372 23.04.2602 -   11 bodies -Trench
S/N 9295 24.04.2602 -   9 bodies -Trench
S/N 9425 25.04.2602 -   8 bodies -Trench
S/N 9459 26.04.2602 -   9 bodies -Trench
S/N 9502 27.04.2602 -   6 bodies -Trench
S/N 9517 28.04.2602 -   17 bodies -Trench
S/N 9546 29.04.2602 -   8 bodies-Trench
S/N 9599 30.04.2602 -   14 bodies -Trench
S/N 9637 01.05.2602 -   11 bodies -Trench 
S/N 9657 02.05.2602 -   6 bodies -Trench 
S/N 9676 03.05.2602 -   8 bodies -Trench 
S/N 9715 04.05.2602 -   8 bodies -Trench 
S/N 9728 04.05.2602 -   20 bodies -Trench 
S/N 9637 05.05.2602 -   11 bodies -Trench 
S/N 9770 06.05.2602 -   9 bodies brought by S.M.C lorry -Trench 
S/N 9800 07.05.2602 -   18 bodies brought by S.M.C lorry -Trench
S/N 9814 08.05.2602 -   13 bodies brought by S.M.C lorry -Trench
S/N 9847 09.05.2602 -   9 bodies  -Trench
S/N 9878 10.05.2602 -   18 bodies -Trench
S/N 9917 11.05.2602 -   17 bodies  -Trench
S/N 9938 12.05.2602 -   12 bodies  -Trench
S/N 9972 13.05.2602 -   3 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10010 14.05.2602 -  14 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10032 15.05.2602 -  11 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10047 16.05.2602 -  9 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10059 16.05.2602 -  4 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10091 17.05.2602 -  23 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10104 18.05.2602 -  20 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10118 19.05.2602 -  4 bodies  -Blk 3 Section A plot AA67
S/N 10124 19.05.2602 -  25 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10150 20.05.2602 -  14 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10186 21.05.2602 -  18 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10197 22.05.2602 -  20 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10228 23.05.2602 -  16 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10252 24.05.2602 -  15 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10286 25.05.2602 -  19 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10304 26.05.2602 -  27 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10339 27.05.2602 -   19 bodies brought by S.M.C lorry -Trench
S/N 10369 28.05.2602 -  19 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10387 29.05.2602 -  18 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10422 30.05.2602 -  12 bodies  -Trench
S/N 10444 31.05.2602 -  23 bodies  -Trench


Also on another burial register record,

S/N 2930  25.03.2602 - Skeletons (4 soldiers)  - Communal Trench
S/N 3074  27.03.2602 - Salleh (Male-40 years) - Communal Trench
S/N 3028  28.03.2602 - Abdul Kader (Male -33 years)- Communal Trench

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