We’ve been pillbox-hunting all over Singapore and here’s are 9 of those that we’ve found which are still intact and accessible to the public. Pillboxes are small concrete fortified structures built as machine gun placements. Typically built along the eastern and southern coastlines and complimenting other defences, the pillboxes were positioned at strategic intervals to ensure a continuous, overlapping field of fire and formed an important part of Singapore’s Second World War defence strategy. Many of them were unnecessary in the end as Singapore was invaded from the north rather than south!
1. Sime Road Pillbox
The pillbox on Sime Road is on the left of the road just before the security barrier of Singapore Island Country Club just after Sime Hill Road and is probably one of the few that’s not located along the coastline of Singapore. This is one of my favourites as it’s set in a natural jungle surrounding and is unsealed, therefore you can enter the actual pillbox. Why is this pillbox here?
2. Chancery Lane Pillbox
This is a less known surviving pillbox in Singapore, who would have guessed that there is a hidden pillbox along Chancery Lane. The pillbox itself is sitting on private property, however it’s visable from the main road outside No.42 Chancery Lane. There is speculation that this pillbox at Chancery Lane was built by the Japanese. See more photos and details about his pillbox here.
3. Sembawang Pillboxes and other WWII installations
These two bunkers that look very much like pillboxes at Bermuda Road. They are quite spacious and have small openings for guns. They are also located on a hill which offers a great vantage point as a gun or lookout post. More photos and info can be found here.
4. Pasir Panjang Pillbox
Probably the most well-known one is located at the corner of Pasir Panjang Road and Science Park Road. This pillbox lays within the WWII defence sector the 1st Malaya Brigade and was likely used by the Malay Regiment during the fierce defence of the Pasir Panjang Ridge against the onslaught of the advancing troops of the Japanese 18th Division. Read more about this pillbox here.
5. Siloso Beach Pillbox
This pillpox can be found next to walking path along Siloso Beach on Sentosa Island and were part of a much more elaborate defence system on Sentosa Island (then known as Pulau Belakang Mati) comprising of Fort Serapong, Fort Connaught, Mount Imbiah Battery, and Fort Siloso. It has since been painted over with a camo print for aesthetic reasons.
6 & 7. Palawan Beach Pillboxes
Apart from the one at Siloso beach, you can also find two more colourful pillboxes right on the sand at Sentosa’s Palawan Beach. These are painted bright pink / blue and green / blue respectively. The pillboxes on Sentosa were built during 1936 -1940 as part of Singapore’s overall defence. You can read more about the sentosa pillboxes and stilted search lights here.
8. Labrador Park Pillbox A
There are 2 surviving machine gun pillboxes in Labrador Park, one of them is relative well-known but the other is slightly neglected and hidden away. Although the guns have been removed, their positions are still visible by the two large dome-shaped cemented areas. More information about both the pillboxes in Labrador Park can be found here.
9. Labrador Park Pillbox B
The second bunker / pillbox is located at N 01° 15.889 E 103° 48.214 behind the public toilets further down, along the foot of the hill. There are still many other surviving WWII installations as well as war time tunnels in Labrador Park that have been preserved, so if you’re interested to see them, it’s definately worth a visit. It will probably take a full day to explore the place and the nearby Memories at Bukit Chandu, a museum detailing the battle of Pasir Panjang.