The Cenotaph – Singapore War Memorial Park

The Cenotaph: A Moving Tribute to Fallen Heroes


The Cenotaph is a war memorial located in the heart of singapore‘s Central Business District. It stands as a solemn tribute to the brave men who lost their lives during World Wars I and II. This towering monument, made from local granite, is situated in the peaceful Esplanade Park, away from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding streets.

A Symbol of Sacrifice

As visitors approach the Cenotaph, they are greeted by bronze tablets bearing the names of the men from the Straits Settlements who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. These tablets serve as a poignant reminder of the lives lost and the bravery displayed by these individuals. The inscriptions on the reverse side of the monument further emphasize the significance of their sacrifice. The simple phrase “They died so we might live” is etched in the four main languages of Singapore: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. This universal message of gratitude and remembrance transcends language barriers and serves as a testament to the unity and resilience of the nation.

An Architectural Marvel

The Cenotaph’s design was inspired by the iconic Whitehall Cenotaph in London, which was created by renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. Local architect Denis Santry of Swan & McLaren meticulously modeled the Singaporean counterpart after its British predecessor. The result is a magnificent structure that stands nearly 60-feet tall, exuding a sense of grandeur and solemnity. The Cenotaph’s foundation stone was laid on 15 November 1920 by Sir Lawrence Nunns Guillemard, the Governor of the Straits Settlements at the time. The ceremony was attended by M. Georges Clemenceau, the Premier of France and Minister of War, as well as Major-General Sir D.H. Ridout, the General Officer Commanding the Troops.

A National Monument

The significance of the Cenotaph is not limited to its historical importance. On 31 March 1922, the memorial was unveiled by the Prince of Wales, who would later become King Edward VIII and then the Duke of Windsor. This momentous occasion solidified the Cenotaph’s status as a national symbol of remembrance and gratitude. In recognition of its historical and cultural value, the Cenotaph, along with two other structures in Esplanade Park, the Lim Bo Seng Memorial and the Tan Kim Seng Fountain, was gazetted as a National Monument on 28 December 2010.


The Cenotaph stands as a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by countless individuals during times of war. It serves as a solemn tribute to the fallen heroes who courageously fought for their country. As visitors stand in its presence, they are enveloped in a sense of reverence and gratitude. The Cenotaph’s architectural beauty, combined with its historical significance, makes it a must-visit destination for those seeking to pay their respects and learn more about Singapore’s rich history.

Address And Location:

Esplanade Park, Connaught Drive, Singapore

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  • Esplanade Park, Connaught Drive, Singapore

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