Friday, April 29, 2005

Singapore Swing Part VIII

At the end of this post, we arrived at the dragon fountain after disembarking the aerial tram to Sentosa Island.

Singapore, a former British colony, was guarded by a garrison of British soldiers. One of their installations was on Sentosa Island and it is named Fort Siloso. The garrison has long since departed but Fort Siloso is maintained as a tourist attraction. One day I was walking near my hotel and came upon a group of impeccably dressed sailors in Navy whites: short pants, dress uniform shirts, and knee length socks with garters. The uniforms looked a bit unusual to me, and then it dawned on me; these are not American sailors, these are British sailors on liberty. Alas, I have no photo of them.

When I took the monorail to Fort Siloso I was properly greeted by this British gentleman:

He was standing in front of two impressive large caliber cannons:

The caption on a nearby marker reads:
These Japanese guns were found in Singapore's Mandai jungle by officer cadets of the Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute in 1966. It is not known why the guns were there but they were presumably installed by the Japanese during their Occupation of Singapore (1942-1945). The breech markings indicate that they were designed in 1914 as coastal artillery and manufactured in the Kure Arsenal in 1923. They were mounted here in 1976.
If you have seen the 1997 movie Paradise Road starring Glenn Close, you have a sense of the occupation period. Incidentally, the opening scene in Paradise Road is set in the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The Raffles Hotel is a gorgeous nineteenth century hotel near the heart of the downtown business district. In fact, the Raffles Hotel is directly adjacent to the hotel in which I stayed, The Stamford.

Next in the Series: Part IX

Photos Copyright 2005 by Impacted Wisdom Truth

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