Singapore Pillbox Series – Sentosa

There are a total of 3 accessable pillboxes I know of and seen in Sentosa. One at Siloso Beach and two at Palawan Beach. apparently, there are some intact pillboxes within the Serapong Golf Course, they are however inaccessible to the public. These pillboxes 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. There are also three stilted search light posts that can be accessed by foot during low tide located behind Fort Siloso. They have all been repainted for aesthetic purposes.

 Camouflaged pillbox at Siloso Beach

The pillboxes on Sentosa were built during 1936 -1940 as part of Singapore’s overall defence. The pillboxes along Sentosa beach walk were (Vickers) Machine Gun Posts 8, 9 and 10 of the Selangor Battalion. During the last week prior to the Surrender the Island came under heavy bombing by the Japanese and several deaths occurred amongst the Volunteers.

Pink & Blue – colourful pillboxes on Palawan Beach

The machine guns frequently fired on suspected small craft in the waters just off Sentosa but there is no proof the Japanese ever tried to attack from the sea. Two Selangor Battalion men were injured by friendly fire by another machine gun post #7 situated closer to the Rasa Sentosa and One (L/Cpl Dickson) died just after the Surrender from wounds after being struck by a machine gun bullet in his right arm at the elbow whilst walking on the beach at night on 14 February 1942.

Green & Blue – colourful pillboxes on Palawan Beach

Pillboxes at the western, seaward side of Sentosa were manned by the Manchester Regiment until 27th February 1942 when the remnants of the Selangor Battalion, Federated Malay States Volunteer Forces took over until the Surrender. Machine gun information by Michael Pether. Also, for more detailed info on these forts and batteries, you can check out Peter Stubbs’s website (

Stilted search light posts by the cliffs located behind Fort Siloso

A total of five searchlight positions were constructed. These searchlights were not for anti-aircraft use, but to illuminate any suspicious vessel approaching the harbour. Two were Fighting Lights for the 6-Inch Guns and three to provide illumination for the 12-Pounder.

Other posts in this series:

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