The danger of wild boar

Kranji War Cemetery


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Wild boar, weather

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Cracked headstones and torn up turf, all courtesy of our least wanted guest in Singapore – wild boar.

The creatures prove a real problem for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The open land of Kranji War Cemetery, on the outskirts of the Asian city-state, is an appealing place for them.

For decades gardeners here have had to look out for boar and the damage they cause to the cemetery they care for. More than 4,000 Second World War dead are buried here. Another 25,000 are named on a series of memorials.

From high up on this vantage point you can look out and see where the Japanese Army came from in that fateful February of 1942, during the Battle of Singapore.

Christopher Leong, our head gardener at Kranji, is all too familiar with the challenges of preserving this reminder of all those lost lives.

His team take seriously any sighting of a wild boar, immediately evacuating the site.

Specialist fencing runs deep underground to prevent all but the most determined of invaders from getting through.

It’s not just animals that put pressure on this historic site. The weather plays its own part too, bringing trees down in the monsoon.

The Singapore Memorial sits on the highest point of the hillside cemetery now. The iconic design pays tribute to the air force, navy and army – the wings of a plane, the fin of a submarine, the rows of soldiers stood to attention.

Weathering has already taken its toll on the memorial. CWGC is restoring the structure, tearing off the old waterproof layer on its roof, and replacing it with more robust modern materials.

While the wild boar might be a dangerous visitor, the cemetery still draws in people wanting to pay their respects. Every year thousands turn out for the Remembrance Sunday service, just the kind of guests our founders had in mind, all those years ago.

Wild boar can be dangerous. When spotted, our cemetery must be evacuated.
The tell-tale signs of damage when boar find their way in.
Kranji War Cemetery's Cross of Sacrifice under construction after the Second World War.
Looking up at more than 4,000 graves from Kranji War Cemetery's entrance.
The grand Singapore Memorial, bearing more than 24,000 names, stands at the top of the cemetery.
Banner illustration of the Four Corners logo