SGH has two sites that commemorate wartime deaths. One is a plaque bearing the
names of 11 medical and dental students whose lives were lost during the war,
while the other is a cross that marks a mass grave at the car park near Bowyer
the final hours of the Battle of Singapore, wounded civilians and servicemen
taken prisoner by the Japanese were brought to the hospital in their hundreds.
The number of fatalities was such that burial in the usual manner was
impossible. An emergency water tank dug in the hospital grounds before the war
was used as a grave for more than 500 civilians and Commonwealth servicemen.
After the war, it was decided that as individual identification of the dead
would be impossible, the grave should be left undisturbed. The grave was
suitably enclosed and consecrated by the Bishop of Singapore. A cross, erected
in their memory by the military authorities around 1947, has a granite base and
is found near Bowyer Block in Singapore General Hospital grounds (car park next
to Bowyer Block).
1948, Dr George V Allen, the principal of King Edward VI College of Medicine
between 1939 and 1942, unveiled another war memorial for eleven medical
students brutally killed during World War II. On the morning of 14 February
1942, Yoong Tat Sin, a fourth-year medical student, was fatally injured by
Japanese shelling while on duty at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital on Balestier
Road. He was rushed to the General Hospital for an emergency operation but died
soon after. That same evening, about 25 friends and students from the College
of Medicine's medical and dental faculties were preparing to give Yoong a
proper burial within the hospital compound. One of the five trenches dug out
earlier for air raid purposes was converted into a grave for Yoong. However,
they were spotted by Japanese gunners who fired a heavy barrage of shells at
the defenceless students. Eleven students were killed instantaneously. They
were buried on the morning of 16 February (a day after the surrender of
Singapore to the Japanese) in the trenches where they fell.
original plaque was hung at the Harrower Hall, and was moved twice before
settling at the College of Medicine Building (the present-day Ministry of
Health). It is still there today.
at the junction of College Road and Macalister Road, opposite the College of
Medicine Building, another memorial was set up to mark the students' burial
The wooden cross is a
war memorial for soldiers and civilians victims of the Japanese Occupation of
The inscription at the
Beneath this cross lie
94 British, 6 Malayan, 5
Indian, 2 Australian soldiers and 300 civilians of many races, victims of Man's
inhumanity to man, who perished in captivity in February 1942. The soldiers are
commemorated by name at Kranji War Cemetery.
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