Surrender Chamber at Sentosa

Located off the southern coast of mainland Singapore, Sentosa (Isle of Tranquillity) was initially known as Pulau Blakang Mati (Island Behind Death). Starting from the 1880s, the island was an important British military base with a number of forts built on it to protect the southern shipping lanes. In 1970, the island was renamed Sentosa following a naming contest organised by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board (STPB). The development of the island into a tourist and recreation resort came under the management of the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), which was formed in 1972.The Surrender Chamber exhibit was opened in 1974 at City Hall. It depicted the formal Japanese surrender to the British in 1945 through wax models made by experts from Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London. Due to low visitorship, the STPB announced plans to move the Surrender Chamber exhibit to Sentosa in 1975. The shift was supervised by Mrs. S.J. Lickfold, a wax figurine expert and manager from Madam Tussaud’s. The Surrender Chamber was eventually moved to the second floor of a former British Army barracks near the Carlton Hill cable car station. In 1982, the building which housed the exhibit was renamed the Sentosa Wax Museum. In the mid 1980s, the Sentosa Wax Museum underwent an $8.4 million revamp that involved the expansion of the exhibit, now called the Surrender Chambers, and its relocation to a new wing of the museum. A new Pioneers of Singapore Gallery was also added to the museum as part of the revamp.