At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the guns of the Great War fell silent. It was said to have been the war to end all wars, but World War I, as we now know it, would only be the first chapter of the 20th century’s global conflicts.
Since that day, November 11 has been commemorated around the world as Remembrance Day; a day to pay tribute to the soldiers who fell in the war, and all who have made the ultimate sacrifice since.
Singapore was spared the worst of World War I. While the Cenotaph at Esplanade Park honours the 124 from the colony killed during the war, our prominent day of remembrance – Total Defence Day on February 15 – references a significant date from World War II: the fall of Singapore.
Still, every year, on the Sunday in November that’s closest to the 11th, a Remembrance Day service is held at Kranji War Memorial, often away from the limelight.
Organised by the British High Commission and the Singapore Armed Forces Veterans’ League, the moving service calls on those in attendance to remember the fallen, but also to recognise the bonds between countries that exist today – both between long-time allies and former foes.
A hundred years on from the end of World War I, we remember them. Lest we forget.