the Cenotaph

Denis Santry

First placed in Singapore: 1917

Elizabeth Walk, the Padang


Patron: Colony of Singapore

A memorial to the 124 Singapore men (all European names) who died in action in World War I. The foundation stone was laid on 15 November 1920 by Sir Lawrence Nunns Guillemard, in the presence of M Georges Clemenceau, Premier of France and Minister of War (1917-1919) (and 'the Tiger of France') as well as the General Officer commanding the troops, Maj-General Sir D.H. Ridout. It was unveiled on 31 March 1922 by the Duke of Windsor, then the Prince of Wales, who was accompanied by the young Mountbatten, later to become Earl Mountbatten of Burma. The names of World War II dead were added on the reverse side later. The memorial, designed by Denis Santry of Swan & McLaren, is apparently modelled on the Sir Edward Luytens Whitehall Cenotaph (1920). (all this from Edwards & Keys, p 374). Actually there are no names on the World War II side, but rather two large plaques, both of which read, in English, Chinese, Jawi and Tamil: 'they died so we might live'. Recently the subject of damage and wear to the monument has been raised in the Straits Times, with most of the blame for the damage being assigned to skateboarders.

Text of the Label:

Our Glorious Dead 1914-1918 This stone was unveiled on November 15 1920 by His Excellency Sir Lawrence Nunns Guillemard, KCB Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Straits Settlements in the presence of M. Georges Clemenceau, Premier of France, and Minister of War, 1917-1919. There is a separate plaque in French: Les Anciens Combattants de Cochinchine a leurs Camarades Britanniques tombes au Champ d'Honneur, Saigon, le 21 Mars, 1924 [trans: The Veterans of Cochinchina to their British comrades fallen on the field of honour. Saigon, 21 March 1924]

Last updated: Dec-27-2020

the Cenotaph
additional photograph of the sculpture on this page
additional photograph of the sculpture on this page

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