War Hero: Wong Chin Yoke4
As we mark the 70th year of the fall of Singapore, we pay tribute to another war hero after our earlier post on Tay Koh Yat. Unlike Tay, Wong Chin Yoke died and was buried in Indonesia before he was re-interred in Bukit Brown.
Wong was a detective constable for many years, starting from 1921 and promoted to inspector by 1928. A decade later, he was awarded the King’s Police Medal (the highest honour for a policeman) for his role in suppression of subversive organisations in the Special Branch (Political Intelligence) after a huge role in the clean-up of communists in 1929 and 1933. In 1937, he also received a Coronation Medal. As these titles imply, Singapore was then under the British empire.
Wong had two wives. He accidentally shot his first wife in 1924 and re-married in 1930, a woman called Kung Yu Cheng (alias Madam Keong Chai Haat).
Wong had escaped Singapore with 10 men before the fall in 1942, fleeing to Indonesia to start an underground resistance movement. He was betrayed and then caught and eventually killed by Japanese in 1943. His body was whisked away by a friend from the Japanese Military hospital and buried.
It was not for another 11 years before this war hero was re-interred in Singapore, the country he had fought for during the war. Nonetheless, his remains were buried with full police honours in Bukit Brown on 21st September 1954. Among those present were his close friends, colleagues from the Special Branch, his wife and 2 daughters, Amy Wong Soo Chin and Geok Chin.
There is a road named after Wong Chin Yoke near Onraet Road, off Mount Pleasant Road.
You can find Wong’s tomb at Hill 4, Division A of the map. You cannot miss the dignified, life-sized Sikh guards near his grave. This is your sign post. Wong is to the right of this guard.
Don’t miss our post on the Battle at Bukit Brown as well. It was on the last 2 days of the war when fighting was at its most vicious. Lest we forget.
Related posts on Wong Chin Yoke: