witness to war

Witness to War: Remembering 1942

23 Sep 2017 - 25 Mar 2018
Exhibition Galleries,
Basement Level
10am – 7pm (last admission at 6.30pm)
Free admission for Citizens, Permanent Residents and visitors aged 6 years and below
76 years after the fall of Singapore, rediscover this watershed event through a special international exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore. Hear first-hand accounts from witnesses to war: ordinary men and women whose lives were upheaved by the outbreak of hostilities in Singapore in 1942. The exhibition presents the complexities of the events that led to the fall of Singapore, paying homage to the extraordinary tenacity with which these men and women bore their circumstances. Now till 25 Mar.

Guided tours


Each tour is approximately one hour and is limited to 20 participants, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Mon – Fri
Sat & Sun
11.30am & 2.30pm

Mandarin 中文导览


Sat & Sun 星期六与星期天
12.30pm & 3pm

Japanese 日本語ガイド

本語ガイドに参加されるお客様は、チケットカウ ンターで番号札をお受取ください。番号札はお帰りの際に担当ガイドか受付までご返却ください

Tue & Thu 火曜日 及び 木曜日
Every second & fourth Sat of the Month 第2及び第4土曜日

Admission Charges

Citizens & Permanent Residents

Student & Senior aged 60 & above with valid ID

Non-Citizens & non- Permanent Residents

Student & Senior aged 60 & above with valid ID

witness to war

Featuring artefacts from 10 overseas museums and institutions, Witness to War will also explore how Singapore’s fall was part of a wider campaign waged by the Japanese Empire across the Pacific.

The exhibition will also feature two special artworks by Australian artist Angela Tiatia and Singaporean artist Debbie Ding. They were developed as part of the first Australia-Singapore Joint Artist Residency exchange programme, which saw the artists participate in one-month residences at the Australian War Memorial and the National Museum of Singapore. The artworks are intimate, evocative responses to Singapore and Australia’s shared World War Two history, and will be displayed outside the exhibition galleries.

For a better understanding of these two contemporary artworks, titled After the Fall: Artworks by Angela Tiatia and Debbie Ding, download the exhibition booklet here.


Programmes in conjunction with Witness to War: Remembering1942

The exhibition will be accompanied by an array of programmes, which were designed to enable the public to enhance their experience and broaden their perspective of World War Two in Singapore and to offer something for everyone.  Click here to view upcoming programmes.

A Child’s Perspective

A special family activity space, entitled “A Child’s Perspective”, has been set up within the exhibition gallery to provide a place for families to guide their young ones – aged 7 to 12 – through the complex topic of war. This activity space offers young visitors a glimpse of what war in Singapore was like for young people such as themselves, and includes a variety of interactive activities, such as the opportunity to explore a makeshift air-raid shelter.


Guided Tours for Schools and Educators

A special series of guided tours for schools, conducted by the museum's volunteer guides, curator’s tours for educators, and walking trails conducted by the Preservation of Sites and Monuments, are also available for young audiences. Email nhb_nm_schools@nhb.gov.sg for details.

guided tours for schools and educators

Young Journalist's Trail

Two activity booklets have been designed to enable young audiences to go on an interactive quest through the National Museum’s three war-related galleries including Witness to War: Remembering 1942 and the Life in Singapore: Surviving Syonan gallery. Download the activity booklets for young audiences aged 7 to 12 here, and for young audiences aged 13 and above here.


Student Archivist Project

The exhibition includes two video booths within the gallery, which showcase five specially selected student archivist video interviews. For the first time, the museum involved students in the curation of exhibition content, enlisting their help with the recording, preserving and sharing of war survivors’ experiences.

student archivist project

Family Time

Visit our permanent galleries with your little ones and play spot-the-artefact! Our colourful Early Learning Resources introduce pre-schoolers to our artefacts according to the themes of Numbers, Colours, and ABCs. Available at $8 per set from the Museum Label shop. For more children's activity booklets, click here.

Museum guide

Download our museum guide (English, Chinese, Bahasa Melayu, Tamil) to find out about the many treasures in our various galleries. In this guide, you will also find the floor plan for easier navigation. Enjoy your visit!

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