Anzac Day in Singapore a moving experience

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Dallas Gray (author), AB Rye Huckel (photographer)

Location(s): Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore

Topic(s): Anzac Day, South East Asia Deployment, HMAS Success (OR 304)

HMAS Success sailors form a Catafalque Party at the Anzac Day Dawn Service held at Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore. (photo: Unknown)
HMAS Success sailors form a Catafalque Party at the Anzac Day Dawn Service held at Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore.

A team from HMAS Success has attended the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Singapore’s Kranji War Cemetery as part of their deployment to South East Asia.

The Kranji War Cemetery commemorates a significant chapter in Australia’s wartime history when during World War II, Australian Forces as a component of Commonwealth Forces, assisted in the defence of Malaya and Singapore against the advancing Imperial Japanese Army. The Singapore Memorial is situated in the Kranji War Cemetery and both are dedicated to their sacrifice.

Petty Officer Boatswain Jordan Bradshaw was humbled by the service.

“I found it to be so rewarding and interesting; I love the opportunity to learn about our history when visiting other countries.

“It is also very important to me as an indigenous Australian, to research and reflect on Australians and their personal sacrifices,” Petty Officer Bradshaw said.

Seaman Electronic Technician Michael Fisher said it was an inspiring experience.

“It was amazing, I felt very honoured to be involved in the service.

“When you actually stop and take time out to reflect on what these servicemen endured, and ultimately sacrificed for our country, it just makes you feel so proud,” Seaman Fisher said.

Following the surrender of Singapore, the Kranji area was used as a prisoner of war camp by the occupying Japanese Forces. The Kranji War Cemetery was created by the Commonwealth prisoners at the camp, and in 1946 was designated Singapore’s main War Cemetery.

Today there are more than 4,460 Commonwealth casualties of the Second World War buried or commemorated at Kranji War Cemetery. More than 850 of the burials are unidentified. The Singapore Memorial bears the names of more than 24,000 casualties of the Commonwealth land and air forces who have no known grave.

The mood at this year’s Kranji Dawn Service could only be described as solemn, and is sure to endure in the hearts and minds of all those that attended for many years to come.

Success is currently deployed to South East Asia and will conduct a series of exercises and port visits with nations in the region.