From Australian War Memorial, caption reads:
SINGAPORE ISLAND, STRAITS SETTLEMENTS, MALAYA, 1945-09-30. THE CHOA CHU KANG ROAD NEAR BULUM VILLAGE WHERE TROOPS OF 2/29 INFANTRY BATTALION SET UP AN AMBUSH AND REPULSED AN ATTACK BY THE JAPANESE ON THE MORNING OF 1942-02-10.
This is the original stretch of Choa Chu Kang Road outside Tengah Air Base (gate visible in the background, on the left). From second shot, the road has been widened, land taken from the left (airbase) side. Two reasons why I’m fascinated with the second shot.
If you look carefully at the 1945 photo, just before the road becomes straight from the right bend in the foreground, a hump is visible (look carefully at the ‘kerb’ on the right). The hump has survived all the PUB work, if any, along the stretch and is visible in my second shot.
The 1945 photo shows tall grasses growing on both sides of the road. The second shot shows the grasses immaculately trimmed. But take a step back and voila, you see tall grasses like the ones in the 1945 photo:
NParks has a Heritage Trees Scheme promoting conservation of our trees. I’m not a tree hugger but I simply love the historical aspect of the scheme. According to their website (emphasis by me),
Some of the Heritage Trees were planted in parks, along roadsides or in gardens many decades ago, while others may have been self-sown or are remnant forest trees that had been retained despite the rapid urbanisation of Singapore.My search for the remnant nutmeg trees inside the Istana was a failure. But I may have serendipitously discovered the remnant roadside grasses of Choa Chu Kang Road.
On the gentle hill slope in the background of the 1945 photo the new Keat Hong Camp would be built. Back in 1945, the British Keat Hong Camp was at Choa Chu Kang Road but east of this location. That camp was later taken over by a SAR (Singapore Armour Regiment) unit. I have blogged about the stretch of Choa Chu Kang Road outside that camp. The camp has recently shifted to its current location at Tengah. You can see the camp in my second shot if not for the trees blocking, on the right side of the road:
Thus Keat Hong Camp has always been located along (original) Choa Chu Kang Road.
Of historical interest are the remnants of an old gate opposite Tengah Air Base. I’m not sure what it was used for, maybe oldies like Peter can tell me. Today the land behind the gate is a playing field (you can see a goalpost in the previous photo). The ‘no entry’ and ‘protected place’ signs are still hanging on the gate pillar. What anachronism!