Lim Bo Seng Memorial

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Lim Bo Seng Memorial
The Lim Bo Seng Memorial Committee
Lim Bo Seng Memorial 2, Aug 06.JPG
Lim Bo Seng Memorial
For Major-General Lim Bo Seng
Established3 November 1953 (1953-11-03)
Unveiled29 June 1954 (1954-06-29)
Location1°17′18.6″N 103°51′11.1″E / 1.288500°N 103.853083°E / 1.288500; 103.853083Coordinates: 1°17′18.6″N 103°51′11.1″E / 1.288500°N 103.853083°E / 1.288500; 103.853083

Designed byNg Keng Siang
Major-General Lim Bo Seng


Major-General Lim Bo Seng was born on 27 April 1909 in Nan-an, Fukien, China. He came to Singapore at the age of 16. After studying at Raffles Institution and Hongkong University, he inherited his father's business in Malaya. Since 1937 he became prominent in anti-Japanese activities. When Singapore fell in 1942, he went to Chungking and on instructions from the Chinese government, he joined the underground resistance section of 136 Force under the Supreme Allied Command, South-East Asia, on 2 November 1943 as Commanding Officer of the Malayan Chinese section. He landed from a submarine at Bagan Bator in Perak to join the British and Chinese officers already working in Malaya, with anti-Japanese forces. Later he left the jungle to work in Ipoh, but he was discovered and arrested by the Japanese Military Police on 27 March 1944. He manfully endured repeated tortures to which he ultimately succumbed on 29 June 1944, at the age of 35. He died in the Batu Fajah prison, a martyr to the cause of a liberated Malaya and to his loyalty to his comrades. On 13 January 1946. he was buried with full military honours in Singapore.

Erected by The Lim Bo Seng Memorial Committee

29 June 1954
Designated28 December 2010

The Lim Bo Seng Memorial is a octagonal pagoda-like war memorial at Esplanade Park, Singapore. It was erected in 1954 in honour of the late Lim Bo Seng for his heroic acts and selfless sacrifice during the World War II. The war memorial is the only structure in Singapore that commemorates an individual’s efforts in World War II and was gazetted as a national monument in 28 December 2010.


In 1946, The Lim Bo Seng Memorial Committee was established to raise funds for the memorial and prepared the proposals of the plan to colonial government, one of which proposed the construction of a memorial park around the late Lim Bo Seng's grave at MacRitchie Reservoir. The colonial government rejected five of the committee’s proposals[1], and would later granted permission in 1953 for a memorial to be built at the Esplanade based on the sixth proposal.[2]

On 3 November 1953 at 5.30 pm, the British Commissioner-General for Southeast Asia Malcolm MacDonald laid the foundation stone[3] for the structure at the ceremony[4] with Lim Bo Seng's widow Gan Choo Neo and her children in present.[5][6]


The memorial was designed by Ng Keng Siang, the first overseas trained Singaporean architect,[7] it was a 3.6 metres (12 ft) high Chinese National Style architecture of octagonal pagoda-like structure made of marble with a three-tier bronze roof, and the marble and concrete pedestal with four bronze lions stand guard around the memorial. The bronze roof and the bronze lions are imported from Hong Kong. Four bronze plaques imprinted with inscription account of Lim’s life in English, Chinese, Tamil and Jawi, were installed around the memorial. The memorial occupied the site which was donated by the government measuring 100 feet (30 m) by 80 feet (24 m).[8]

Unveiling of the Memorial[edit]

On 29 June 1954, the completed Memorial was unveiled by Sir Charles Loewen, the Commander-in-Chief of the Far East Land Forces[9] in front of a crowd of people with Lim's widow, her children and some members of the Force 136 in present at the 10th death anniversary ceremony of Major-General Lim Bo Seng.[10][11][12][13]

On 29 June 1959 on the 15th anniversary of the death of Major-General Lim Bo Seng, Lim's widow and her eldest son Lim Leong Geok and daughter Lim Oon Geok among others laid wreaths at the Memorial at Esplanade Park[14][15] and at his memorial tomb at MacRitchie Reservoir.[14]

National Monument[edit]

On 28 December 2010, the Lim Bo Seng Memorial was gazetted by the Preservation of Monuments Board as a National Monument along with The Cenotaph and the Tan Kim Seng Fountain at the Esplanade Park and the Singapore Conference Hall along Shenton Way.[16] [17]



  1. ^ "Lim Bo Seng memorial delay 'blow to Chinese'".
  2. ^ "6th plan for Lim Bo Seng memorial".
  3. ^ "The Foundation Stone at Major-General Lim Bo Seng's Memorial…".
  4. ^ "Commissioner General Malcolm MacDonald Laying the Foundation…".
  5. ^ "Family Members of Late Major-General Lim Bo Seng at the…".
  6. ^ "C-G Lays Stone for Memorial to Lim Bo Seng".
  7. ^ "Sixth plan for Lim memorial".
  8. ^ "nusantara:public art: Lim Bo Seng Memorial".
  9. ^ "General Sir Charles Loewen, Commander-in-Chief, Far Eastern…".
  10. ^ "A General unveils a hero's pagoda".
  11. ^ "Crowd at the Esplanade Admiring the 12-Foot Concrete and…".
  12. ^ "Miss Lim Oon Geok, Daughter of the Late Major-General Lim Bo Seng, Admiring the 12-Foot Concrete and Marble Pagoda Dedicated to His Memory".
  13. ^ "Major-General Bo Seng's Widow and Family Together With Colonel J L B David (Who Fought Alongside Major-General Lim Bo Seng) at the Ceremony Where General Sir Charles Lowen, Commander-in-Chief, Far Eastern Land Forces (FARELF) Unveiled a 12-Foot Concrete and Marble Pagoda. The Pagoda is Dedicated to the Memory of Major-General Lim Bo Seng".
  14. ^ a b "The 15th Death Anniversary of Major General Lim Bo Seng at…".
  15. ^ "Lim Leong Geok, His Mother andSister Laid Wreaths at Major-…".
  16. ^ "Preservation of Monuments Order 2010".
  17. ^ Property Guru (27 December 2010). "PMB declares 4 landmarks as national monuments". Yahoo. Retrieved 7 December 2018.