Adventures At Home: Let’s Rediscover Singapore's War History Through Fort Connaught
STORY: Nicholas Yong
08 February 2023
You might have heard of Fort Seropong and Fort Siloso on Sentosa, but do you know about Fort Connaught?
Biggest guns on Sentosa
Fort Connaught was built for the defence of Keppel Harbour, an important ship-building and repair facility during British rule. The fort was armed with 9.2-inch guns, the biggest on Sentosa island and second biggest in Singapore, behind the 15-inch guns at Changi.
These guns were used to engage invading Japanese troops, but because they were pointed towards the sea, British forces were forced to manually turn them landward – resulting in an enduring WWII myth about the guns “pointing the wrong way” during the Battle for Singapore.
Fort Connaught was demolished the day before the Fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942, to prevent the weapon from getting into the hands of the Japanese Army.
Since then, the fort was left abandoned… until today!
Be one of the first to rediscover Fort Connaught
As part of the National Heritage Board’s (NHB) “Battle for Singapore 2023”, you can be one of the first few to step foot into the forgotten fort in the “Fort Connaught Rediscovery Tour”, presented in partnership with the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC).
Get ready to embark on a historical adventure with Dr John Kwok, a professional historian, and Saifullah Kamaludin, a history enthusiast with SDC, as they bring you through Fort Connaught to explore how coastal fortifications in Singapore contributed to Singapore’s defence during WWII.
Step back in time
Lace up those shoes (make sure they're covered), cause you’re gonna be hiking up a steep hill to this restricted site. It's usually a no-go for the public, so don't miss this chance to explore!
The area has been left relatively untouched since it was abandoned more than 80 years ago. Check out the battery observation post, peek into the underground ammunition storage chamber, and step into the grounds of the former gun emplacement.
Saifullah says the British soldiers had to haul the 170 kg ammo up a hill to the gun emplacement. Can you even imagine the workout they got? And the best part, these 9.2-inch guns were beastly enough to shoot all the way to Bukit Timah! Mind blown!
This tour is happening every weekend in February. Book your tickets here!
Battle for Singapore 2023
The "Fort Connaught Rediscovery Tour" is just of the 100 tour runs and 30 unique programmes happening from 10 Feb to 5 March.
Keep an eye out for the super cool vintage WWII toy tour. You'll get to see how toys made by the Allies and the Axis Powers were used to make war seem normal, show support for the war effort, and celebrate war victories.
Another hot pick is the exclusive tour of the revamped Navy Museum. You'll learn all about the early days of the Republic of Singapore Navy, which started as volunteer forces when Singapore was a British colony under the Straits Settlements.
For more deets and to sign up for Battle for Singapore 2023 programmes, visit this website.
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