Tan Chong Tee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tan Chong Tee
Tan Chong Tee (Left) with Lim Bo Seng (Right)
Born 15 October 1916
Died 24 November 2012[citation needed] (aged 96)
Other names Lim Shu,
Tan Tien Soong
Known for Force 136
Spouse(s) Lee Shao Meng
Relatives Tan Chong Mao
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Tan.

Tan Chong Tee (simplified Chinese: 陈崇智; traditional Chinese: 陳崇智; pinyin: Chén Chóngzhì; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tân Tsông-tì; 15 Oct 1916 – 24 November 2012)[citation needed] was a Singaporean resistance fighter in World War II. He was captured, tortured and imprisoned by the Japanese, together with other members of Force 136 such as the well-known resistance fighter Lim Bo Seng. Tan was also an accomplished badminton player in the late 1930s and the postwar period.

Early life[edit]

Tan was born into a Chinese family with ancestry from Fujian at his family residence along Shrewsbury Road (in present-day Novena) in British colonial Singapore. His father, Tan Kah Tek, worked in a carriage shop on Orchard Road while his mother, Lim Peng Tuan, owned a floral nursery. Tan left to further his studies in China in 1930 and returned to Singapore in 1933. After his return, he helped his mother to run Kheng Cheng School, which she had established in 1927.

Tan was a badminton player during his youth, and was also a contemporary of the badminton great Wong Peng Soon. Tan was one of the few players to have defeated Wong in competition.[1]

Badminton career[edit]

Tan was a talented badminton player in his youth and represented the well-known Mayflower and Marigold Badminton Parties at various local tournaments. In 1935, while representing the Marigold Badminton Party at the Singapore Grade A Senior Tournament, he defeated the reigning champion to rise to prominence in the local badminton circuit. Tan was subsequently the champion of various tournaments from 1936 to 1940, winning the Malaysia Open singles title in 1938, the Singapore Open singles and men's double titles in (1936,1937,1940) and (1936,1937). He married Lee Shao Meng, also a Marigold player, with whom he teamed up for various mixed doubles events and won the mixed doubles title in the 1940 Singapore Badminton Championships.

World War II resistance[edit]

When the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1937, Tan participated[2] in anti-Japanese activities such as boycotting Japanese goods and fund-raising to support the war effort in China.

Tan lost touch with his family in 1942 after the Japanese invaded and occupied Singapore. He then joined Force 136, a branch of the British military organisation Special Operations Executive, where he met and befriended Lim Bo Seng. Tan took part in Operation Gustavus but was captured in 1944 by the Japanese when the operation failed. He spent the next 18 months in captivity[3] and was subjected to torture by the Japanese, who attempted to force him to reveal the identities of his fellows in Force 136. He was released after the Japanese surrender in 1945,[4] which ended the war. Tan's elder brother, Tan Chong Mao, and their mother, were killed during the Sook Ching massacre during the Japanese occupation of Singapore.[1]

Post-war years[edit]

After the war, Tan participated in badminton tournaments again and eventually became a businessman. He retired in 1985. In 1994, he wrote a Chinese-language memoir, FORCE 136: Story Of A WWII Resistance Fighter (ISBN 981-3029-90-0),[5] which recount his experiences with Force 136 that was translated to English a year later by Lee Watt Sim and Clara Show, and published in 2001 by Asiapac Books as a comic book.

On 19 September 1995, Tan and eight other surviving members of Force 136 were each presented with a commemorative silver ingot to honour them for their resistance efforts.

In 2001, Tan was also part of a group selected to recite the national pledge during the National Day Parade of that year.

In 2002, Tan published another book named Upholding The Legacy: Singapore Badminton (ISBN: 9789812292704), that covers the history of badminton in Singapore.


Tan died in Singapore on 24 November 2012, aged 96.


  1. ^ a b Guay, Ee Ling. "Tan Chong Tee". National Library Board. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "World War II [ Tan Chong Tee ]". Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "LIM BO SENG - MY HERO, MY FRIEND". Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Singapore’s James Bond". Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "War hero Tan Chong Tee?". Retrieved 9 January 2015. 

External Links[edit]