Two cemeteries of national significance are housed at this site: Kranji War Cemetery is a burial site for soldiers who died defending Singapore and Malaya during World War II, and Kranji State Cemetery is a burial site for two former presidents of Singapore.
Kranji War Cemetery has its origins in a prisoner-of-war camp established by the Japanese in this area in 1944. Prisoners who died were buried in a cemetery on a hill behind the camp. After the war in 1946, this cemetery was chosen as the site of a permanent war cemetery for Allied soldiers. Military graves from other parts of Singapore as well as Saigon (Vietnam) were then transferred to Kranji War Cemetery, which contains more than 4,400 graves today.
To honour soldiers who had died without a grave, architect Colin St Clair Oakes designed the Singapore Memorial, which was unveiled by Governor Sir Robert Black on 2 March 1957. This memorial, which resembles the profile of a World War II fighter plane from above, comprises 12 walls on which are inscribed the names of more than 24,000 soldiers who died without a grave.
Kranji State Cemetery, which is located just outside Kranji War Cemetery, was established by the Singapore government in 1970 for individuals who have “made important contributions to national progress”. The cemetery contains the graves of two former presidents: Yusof Ishak, who was Singapore’s Yang di-Pertuan Negara (Head of State) from 1959-1965 and first President from 1965-1970; and Dr Benjamin Sheares, Singapore’s second President from 1971-1981.
Other Suggested Short Trail Routes
Explore the Suggested Short Trail Routes:
- Communities of Woodlands, 1.5 hours with public transport (4km)
- Woodlands at War, 2 hours with public transport (9km)
- A Journey through the Woods, 1.5 hours on bike; 2.5 hours on foot with public transport (15km)
Woodlands Heritage Trail Booklet
Woodlands Heritage Trail Map - English
Woodlands Heritage Trail Map - Chinese
Woodlands Heritage Trail Map - Malay
Woodlands Heritage Trail Map - Tamil
Woodlands Heritage Trail Markers - Chinese
Woodlands Heritage Trail Markers - Malay
Woodlands Heritage Trail Markers - Tamil