This has to be one of the most modern archaeologically treasure troves in Singapore. This and the surrounding area saw some of the most ferocious fighting between the Japanese and allied forces in February in a short few days before the surrender to the Japanese. So much history surrounds this area that a book could be written on it, and indeed some have been. So i'm not even going to attempt to try and cover it all, or any where near it! If you're interested you can read up and research and if you're really lucky you can even take part looking for wartime artifacts with the experts. Friends I know have been fortunate enough too.
This post will briefly cover the 2 collections of Black and Whites sitting either side of the PIE. Adam Drive and Adam Park.
Sitting between the expressway of the PIE on one side with the Singapore Island Country Club and golf course on the other is Adam Drive. The bungalows you see sit on what was Sime Road Camp. Originally World War II Headquarters and camp used by the British and then taken over by the Japanese and used as a POW Camp. For more information take a look at the following http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/research/archaeologyresearch/battlefieldarchaeology/centreprojects/singaporewwiiproject/
As a I said you can imagine all the stories and history within this small area.
Many of the Black and Whites here are smaller, homelier and more comfortably sized homes compared to some of the 'mansions' we've already visited here in Singapore. They are set still in beautifully wooded surrounding, with wildlife as your nearest neighbours. Monkeys are a common sight as are snakes and if you're really lucky you may even see a flying lemur (colugo) or even a pangolin.
The current homes sit on the bases which were built pre war, but never finished, so these houses are built post war. Quite modern homes in fact.
The POWs, both British and Australian in the Sime road camp were put to work building the Shinto shrine in Macritchie (see future blog post) This was to commemorate the Japanese casualties. Many of the POWs were then sent out of Singapore to work and sadly, for too many, die, building the Thai-Burmese Railway.
Crossing over the extremely busy PIE and you next come to Adam Park.
Adam Park, as with Adam Drive, is steeped in World War II history and artifacts can still easily be found, discarded ammo, and military finds scattered amongst the gardens of these homes, which are larger than their neighbours of Adam Drive. The whole area is the site of the bitter final battle on the last few days before the British surrendered on 14 February 1942.
These homes were used to house POWs, with some housing up to 250 men in just one house! One home was known to have been used as a chapel by the POWs, something Jon Cooper has been hunting for (Adam Park Project https://www.facebook.com/AdamParkProject)
On this estate sits 29 houses. As you enter from the roadside the first home you come to, sitting on a small rise is no.7. This was the Cambridgeshire Regiments Headquarters. In later years it was to become The Guild House used by the NUS (National University of Singapore) Society. It now however sits empty with it possibly being used as a museum of the area.
It sad to see so many of these houses standing empty.........