The 70th anniversary of the fall of Singapore will be marked with a wreath-laying ceremony at the National War Memorial on Wednesday 15 February. The ceremony will be attended by His Excellency Mr Justice (ret.) M.P.H. Rubin, High Commissioner for the Republic of Singapore, the Hon. Nathan Guy, Minister of Veterans Affairs’ and Rear Admiral Jack Steer, the Vice Chief of Defence Force.
Ninety-year old veterans of the battle Clem Randall of Nelson and Hugh Nelson of Paraparaumu are also attending.
What: Wreath-laying ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the fall of Singapore
Where: National War Memorial, Buckle Street, Wellington
When: 11.00am, Wednesday 15 February.
Veterans that fought in the Battle of Singapore will be available for interview after the ceremony.
New Zealand will also be represented at a ceremony in Singapore at Kranji War Cemetery, by veterans Bill Mitchell of Oamaru, and Ted West from the North Shore, both aged in their nineties; the Chief of Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Peter Stockwell and the New Zealand Defence Attache in Singapore, Group Captain Tim Walshe.
Media wishing to interview the two veterans or for further information please contact Ally Clelland, Defence Communications Group, 021 569 130
Battle of Singapore background
After the attack on Pearl Harbour, Japanese aircraft arrived over Singapore where the British had a major military base. At the same time, Japanese troops moved south down the Malayan peninsula. The Japanese forces had Singapore under siege by the end of January 1942, and it fell on 15 February 1942. This was the greatest military defeat for the British in 150 years. Over 80,000 British, Indian and Australian troops became prisoners of war, joining 50,000 taken by the Japanese in the Malayan Campaign. Four days later the first of the bombing raids on Darwin occurred, bringing the war very close to New Zealand.