Singapore Pillbox Series – Chancery Lane

This is a less known surviving pillbox in Singapore, who would have guessed that there is a hidden pillbox along Chancery Lane. We found some pictures of this pillbox online and decided to pay it a visit. As the location was not published, we took a drive around the area to see if we could spot it. Surprisingly, we found the WWII installation fairly easily. The pillbox itself is sitting on private property, however it’s visible from the main road outside No.42 Chancery Lane.

This pillbox is semi-circle in shape which is uncharacteristic of others built by the British. It faces northwest and is semi-hidden in a small hillock indicating that it was also designed to withstand aerial attacks. Due to it’s appearance and it being similar to that (already destroyed pillox)  at the junction of Anson Road and Tanjong Pagar Road, there is speculation that this pillbox at Chancery Lane was built by the Japanese.

To quote Peter Stubbs from – “I do not think that it is a British design, but am not 100% confident about that. Photos of British pillboxes in Singapore tend to show fairly similar design features. In the UK there were standard designs as well, but there were also some radical departures from standard. I know of some that were disguised as ‘normal’ buildings, even a section of a brick wall. Some were also half buried like this one at Chancery Lane.”

Peter Stubbs also mentioned that the idea of this pillbox being built for the purpose of defending the Japanese officer who was staying in that house seems plausible, although the officer would have been a very senior officer. Possible names which were cited were Field Marshal Count Hisaichi Terauchi and Colonel Masanobu Tsuji, the man who planned the Sook Ching massacre in Punggol.

Other posts in this series:

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