Dec 11, 2020

Locating Sembawang's WWII Bunkers & Air-Raid Shelters

 Another weekend, another S.A.D.!

That's Sunday Adventure Date, in case you are still not familiar with our weekly nature outings 😁

We headed to the history rich area around Sembawang Park, which was once home to the British naval base... which also means that there are plenty of WWII structures to waiting to be discovered!

During the pre-WWII period, plenty of structures including underground bunkers, air-raid shelters and storehouses were built to support the naval base in Sembawang. There is speculation that theese bunkers and air-raid shelters are probably part of a complex and yet-to-be-discovered underground network in Sembawang. 😱 Sounds intriguing already!

Psst, there's a map at the end of this post.


(Off Jalan Selimang)

We kicked off our adventure with a visit to not a bunker, but an old gateway off Jalan Selimang.

This was was most likely the entrance to the seaside bungalow of the late Cycle & Carriage boss Chua Boon Peng, who snagged the Mercedes-Benz sole distributorship in 1951 in Singapore.

Only the gateway remains standing today, while the bungalow is gone now. But one can imagine the stupendous sea views that came with the residence back in those days!

Speaking of sea views, there is a secluded beach nearby that you can chill too.


(Opposite 158 Gibraltar Crescent)

Then it was back to areas surrounding Sembwang Park, where we found an old bunker hidden along Gibraltar Crescent which has been completely ‘eaten’ by banyan roots!

The entrance to the bunker has already been locked so we couldn't explore any further. 😅 

But it still makes for a great photo for the gram!

The bunker is located along Gibraltar Crescent and is situated directly opposite 158 Gibraltar Crescent (Black & White Bungalow).

You can't see it from the main road though so keep your eyes peeled for a small opening opposite the bungalow. Once you enter it, you will see it immediately.


(Along Malta Crescent, before Cyprus Road)

If you are interested to see another old building being devoured by nature, head to the nearby Malta Crescent where an old storehouse covered with roots and vines can be clearly seen from the main road. 

Nobody knows for sure what it was used for, but it's currently being utilised as a makeshift storeroom! 😆


(King's Ave)

Walk further inwards onto the green field and you will see some low 'hills' arising from the ground along King's Ave.

Remember I mentioned that Sembawang was home to more than a dozen WWII bunkers and air-raid shelters? This is one of the numerous bunkers and air-raid shelters scattered around Sembwang that has since been sealed.

A clear giveaway that these 'hills' were formerly bunkers is the presence of ventilation vents sticking out of the terrain.


(Malta Crescent, Beside Sembawang Car Park 2)

There is another bunker located at Malta Crescent and this is the most accessible of the lot because it situated right next to Sembawang Car Park 2.


(291 Durban Road)

Another sealed bunker can be found at 291 Durban Road, where the steps to the sealed entrance still remain.

Prior to 2009, the vents were unselaed so people can actually head down for a look.

A follower on Instagram saw my stories and shared with me a photo collage of what it looked like underground. The photos were taken before the bunker was sealed in 2009.


(Opposite 250A Bermuda Road)

A more interesting find is the two partially-exposed pillboxes located opposite 250A Bermuda Road.

These pillboxes are built on a hill, and have slots for machine guns... presumably for defence against the enemy who were coming from the sea.

Who knew Sembawang had so much history relating to WWII???

So it’s definitely a great walk around the area if your kids are military buffs!

If you are planning to locate the bunkers, here's a handy map:

Stay safe, and have fun exploring!

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1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Japanese attack from there..thats why many WWII relics.

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