World War 1 in Singapore – reminders of, in pics

We weren’t in Singapore for long enough to do a proper picture blog with observations on life there, especially after our long, long delay at the border, where Singapore officials were meticulous to the point of taking four minutes per person trying to enter the country.

Most people associating Singapore with wartime are thinking of the collapse of British rule there as the Japanese advanced in WW2. But we were fascinated by some of the WW1 references we found.

I’m not sure how many streets in France still have names like this these days.

Petain Road in Singapore

Even I wasn’t sure whether it really referred to the Vichy leader, until I saw other street names nearby…

Marne Road in Singapore

And clearly the World War One connotations for Singapore are not as painful as they are in the UK. I can’t imagine a school playground getting a name like this back in Britain, even in a year when everyone is focusing on centenaries…

Somme playground in Singapore

This part of Singapore – near Little India – does have some remarkably well-preserved architecture, though we wondered what sort of people lived in these beautiful terraced houses when they were first built.

Terrace near Little India in Singapore

They had a beautiful covered walkway down the front of their homes, whoever they were. And some lovely tiling out the front.

Terrace near Little India in Singapore


It’s a little bit clearer who the guests were at Raffles in Singapore a few decades ago…

East India rooms at Raffles

And being on a coffee and tea tour, we had to give afternoon tea at Raffles a go. More on that in the Singapore coffee and tea blog (to follow), but Raffles retains its distinguished feel.

Raffles in Singapore

I just couldn’t help feeling that I probably wouldn’t have been a regular visitor to the place during colonial times, as I’ve never been a great fan of fawning service or arrogant customers, and for some reason as we sat sipping our tea there soaking up the history, I couldn’t help thinking that there’d have been an awful lot of that back in the days when the tea room was the best dining space ‘east of Suez’…





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