Lim Bo Seng Memorial

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Lim Bo Seng Memorial, Singapore Overview

This octagonal pagoda called Lim Bo Seng Memorial is gazetted as a national monument that commemorates one of the Singapore's heroes that were fallen during the Second World War. Located in the Esplanade Park, this memorial was installed in 1954, to glorify the late Lim Bo Seng for his selfless sacrifices and altruistic acts during World War II. This is the only war memorial that commemorates an individual's contribution in World War II. 

Lim's first grave landmark had been a humble wooden cross which was later decided to be replaced by a more eminent and permanent installation in 1948, but couldn't do so due to inadequate funds. However, in 1952, the Lim Bo Seng Committee raised funds that were sufficient to build a strong concrete structure as a memorial. It was completed in 1954, and its unveiling was done by Sir Charles Loewen who was the then Commander-in-chief of the far east forces.

This was done in the presence of Lim's wife, children and members of the Force 136. It was held at the 10th death anniversary of Major-General Lim Bo Seng. Later, on the 15th anniversary, Lim Bo Seng's eldest son and daughter, with several others, laid wreaths at the Memorial at the Esplanade Park and at the tomb of his memorial at MacRitchie Reservoir. Finally, on 28th December 2010, Lim Bo Seng's memorial was gazetted as a national monument.

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Designed by Keng Siang, the first overseas Singaporean Architect, the memorial is at the height of 3.6 metres. It is built in a Chinese National Style architecture that consists of an octagonal pagoda. This pagoda is made up of marble, consisting of a three-tier bronze roof and a concrete pedestal that is guarded by four bronze lions around the memorial.

The memorial has a bronze roof and bronze lions that hailed all the way from Hong Kong. There are four bronze plaques which have inscription accounting of Lim's life imprinted on them. The four plates read of 4 different languages; English, Chinese, Tamil and Jawi. The government donated the site of the memorial measuring 100 by 80 feet.

In 943, Lim was involved in Operation Gustavus which aimed at establishing an espionage network in Malaya and Singapore.. Unfortunately, the operation failed and led to Lim's capture in 1944. He was imprisoned and taken for interrogation to the Kempeitai headquarters. Later, he was transferred to the Batu Gajah Gaol prison in Perak. Lim was subjected to intense torture, and in spite of being abused and ill-treated, he did not disclose any bit of information. Confined in dilapidated conditions, he fell prey to dysentery and passed away in the same year. Lim Bo Seng was buried behind the Batu Gajah Gaol compound in an unnoticed location.

Lim Bo Seng's memorial is located in the Esplanade Park. To reach here via bus, take any of 75, 167, 100, 107, 130 and 131 buses which stop at B02029, 1 minute away from Esplanade. To reach here via MRT Station, reach Raffles Place MRT at alight at Exit H to walk for a distance of 5 minutes.

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