The Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk 2019
A walk with NUS Toddycats, volunteers of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, National University of Singapore. All are welcome, just register so we know numbers.
It is 13th February 1942, and the Japanese Imperial Army which stormed through Malaya turn their attention to Pasir Panjang Ridge. Approaching Singapore City from the west, a seasoned Japanese army is forced to engage the small force of the Malay Regiment on the high ground of Pasir Panjang Ridge.
A fierce battle is put up by men of the Malay Regiment amidst the confusion of aerial and artillery bombardment, smoke of a burning fuel dump, loss of communications and the early deaths of senior officers who had moved about to keep their men coordinated.
They would battle on for nearly two days and the company is wiped almost to the last man by the numerically superior Japanese on the eve of Chinese New Year.
The next day, on 15th of February, 1942, General Percival marches down Bukit Timah Road to surrender to General Yamashita of the Japanese Imperial Army at the Ford Factory.
The National University of Singapore is built on part of the old battleground and its forest still contains a 1930's military outpost which strategically oversees Jurong, Bukit Timah and Singapore City. In 1954, the Pasir Panjang ridge was renamed 'Kent Ridge,' and the old stone marker which commemorates this event persists to this day at the Gap, though often overlooked.
The accounts of the heroic battle left a strong impression on the Pasir Panjang Heritage Guides, so we commemorate the Malay Regiment's defense of the ridge every year. We share with you stories about the Battle of Pasir Panjang, the geography, history and the flora and fauna of the area that first drew us to explore the ridge decades ago and explain how the ridge got its name.
Our route takes us from the National University of Singapore to Kent Ridge Road and the The Gap. We then make our way to Kent Ridge Park and end at Reflections of Bukit Chandu. This was set up as the Kent Ridge Heritage Trail by NUS and partners.
Everyone is welcome – you must wake up early enough to join us at 7.00am and be physically fit enough to walk 5km at a moderate pace over five hours and climb lots of stairs!
The day of the walk
Meet us at the entrance of the University Cultural Centre in NUS at 7.00am [map]
This is a five hour walk and February is a hot month, so please bring at least a litre of water and some sandwiches or snacks.
Rain is always possible so do bring an umbrella and waterproofing for your barang-barang!
Pasir Panjang/Kent Ridge Heritage webpage [link]"Battle of Pasir Panjang Commemorative Walk 2009 Review," by Kenneth Pinto. Raffles Museum Toddycats, 19 Feb 2009. [link]Photos from 2015, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2008.
Click the map for a larger view or see Google Maps
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