Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Battle for Singapore - Marsiling Tunnels Tour by NHB

We gathered at Woodlands Waterfront at 0900 and waited for Dr Kwok, our guide for this tour! Soon after we started the tour, beginning with a small hike along the roads and soon into a secondary forest area.

Start of the tour!
During the hike, he showed us some old structures built even before World War 2 such as the Woodlands North Jetty. I learnt that it has been there for almost 70 years when the British ruled Singapore. Next, the Dr Kwok showed us an old lamp post which was partially hidden by vegetation, after some research and sourcing, Dr Kwok and colleague predicted that the old lamp post was built even before World War 2 as it was made with concrete. This thought us not to overlook any small details in anything that we do.

Hiking into the forested area

There was a road with a hump which till now left Dr Kwok and his fellow colleagues at National Heritage Board puzzled over the purpose of it. His colleagues predicted that the road we were on used to be a railway. From old images, they saw a long stretch of train tracks from the coast area from there to Sembawang. We then continued our hike into the tunnels area.
New pipes built from the foundation of the old ones used in WWII.

Soon after we reach a covered wall, which Dr Kwok told was the tunnel entrance, However, we were puzzled as it was a just a wall. Soon after, Dr Kwok explained that the entrance had been sealed up. Dr Kwok also shared his experience when he had the chance to venture into the tunnels while is was still unsealed back in 2006. He said it was a good thing it has been sealed. Firstly, not only was it to prevent tomb raiders from stealing artifacts from the place, secondly as it used to be an oil depot back in WWII, there is lead and other harmful and poisonous substances inside.

Single file guys!
Then, we trekked on to see a bigger wall. As we guessed, it was also sealed up. Dr Kwok explained at the entrance that it was initially was built as an fuel depot by the Japanese Imperial Army back in WWII from old pictures of the area.
A smaller sealed up entrance
Then, we trekked back to a resting point near start of our tunnels tour. Then Hai Son, our Assistant Senior Patrol Leader took this chance to present Dr Kwok with a token of appreciation for specially taking time off his busy schedule to guide us through this amazing tour.
Thank you Dr Kwok!
Soon after, we trekked out of the forest and hiked back to waterfront park where we rested under a park shelter as we filled up a survey form about the tour. Dr Kwok then took this opportunity to thank us and introduce us to what he does as a Historian.

Historians vs Amateur Historians

After this amazing tour, I learnt that as a Scout we must have sense of adventure and be curious, this way will we always learn new things!

Team SE!

Written by: Daryl Tan
Edited by: Jason Tang
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