Commemoration Ceremony for Lim Bo Seng and Force 136

Dr Lim Whye Geok, son of Mr Lim Bo Seng laying a wreath at the ceremony

Our associate company, The Changi Museum, organised a remembrance ceremony at Kranji War Cemetery on 29 June 2014 to commemorate the 70th death anniversary of Lim Bo Seng and the sacrifice made by Force 136 in the Second World War. Lim had been a Force 136 agent operating in Malaya when he was captured by the Japanese. Incarcerated at Batu Gajah Prison in Perak, Lim was tortured by the Kempeitai, the dreaded Japanese military police. He died three months later in prison on 29 Jun 1944 from torture, ill health and general neglect. Although he was tortured, Lim held firm to the secrets of Force 136 and never divulged the names of any of its agents. This heroic courage is what Singaporeans, both young and old alike, remember about him.

The ceremony began with the Guest of Honour, Dr Lim Whye Geok, recounting his elder sister, Mrs Leow Oon Geok’s, memories of their late father. Dr Lim, who was just four years old at the time of his father’s death, read out these poignant words that his father had written in his diary to his mother:

“My duty and my honour will not permit me to look back. Every day, tens of thousands are dying for their countries .. You must not grieve for me. On the other hand, you should take pride in my sacrifice and devote yourself to the upbringing of the children. Tell them what happened to me and direct them along my footsteps.”

There was hardly a dry eye left among the hundred odd people who had turned up to attend the ceremony.

As is the tradition at remembrance ceremonies, there were public readings done of selected poems. The grandson of Lim Bo Seng, Mr Lim Teck Yin, the CEO of Sport Singapore (formerly Singapore Sports Council), read Laurence Binyon’s For the Fallen, an apt tribute to his grandfather. Mr Lim, like his illustrious grandfather, was an army officer who rose to the rank of Brigadier General before leaving the SAF in 2011 to take up his present appointment.

Towards the end of the ceremony, the Director of The Changi Museum, Mr Jeya Ayadurai, gave a short speech about Force 136 and shed some light on its role in the Second World War. After the ceremony, the Lim family posed with Changi Museum staff for a group photo, before heading to the carpark area for refreshments.

 

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