The Revolutionary Tour2
It was the inaugural Revolutionary Tour so dubbed because the tombs visited belong to the revolutionaries of the Tong Meng Hui. They made Singapore a base to raise funds to support Sun Yat-Sen in bringing about the fall of the Qing Dynasty who ruled between the 1905 – 1911. it was popularly called the “辛亥革命” （Revolution of the Xin Hai Year) Post 1911 they continued to play a part in influencing the course of China’s history and also contributed to Singapore’s social, economic and community development.
Walter Lim led the tour conducted in Mandarin for some 36 guides from the Sun Yat Sen museum, many of whom also guide in Mandarin at the Singapore History and Peranankan Museums. He was assisted by volunteers, Yik Han and Ee Hoon. As tours went, it was one of the most engaging and lively of tours conducted at Bukit Brown, with participants sharing their insights and postulating various theories. It took nearly 5 hours to cover just under 10 tombs. There are 13 known TMH tombs and 14 tombs known to belong to Republicans – the latter was formed after TMH at Bukit Brown. Collectively both groups were part of the Reformation movement of the New China.
The following is a photo essay report with photos by Ee Hoon and captions contributed by Walter and Yik Han. Of the tombs covered 3 belong to Republicans: Khoo Seok Wan, Leow Chia Heng and See Tiong Wah . The rest are Tong Meng Hui
First stop Tay Koh Yat. At the height of his business he owned a total of 163 buses serving public transportation. He was a patriot who started and led his own self defence force of 20,000 before the onset of the Japanese Occupation of Singapore in World War 2. With a price on his head, Tay escaped to Indonesia with Tan Kah Kee on the eve of the war. After the war, Tay returned and immediately started to compile the fatalities from his volunteer force and lobbied the colonial government for the same compensation given to widows and children of servicemen who died during the war. Initially rejected, he appealed and the colonial government finally gave in. Tay next went on to form the Singapore Chinese Appeal Committee for the Japanese Massacre victims to seek justice and compensation.
Stop 2, destination : the tomb of 蒋玉田(Chio York Chiang) （1856-1927). He was one of the pioneer batch of Hokkien TMH member. Others were, Tan Chor Nam, Lim Keng Chew and Liew Hong Sek.
Interesting inscription of the head stone, one side has ” 时国民党老同盟独具先“ and ”为华侨界代議士尚繋後思“ The first “He is a pioneer of the Guo Min Tang with sharp foresight” the second statement on the right says that he is a “Representative of the oversea chinese righteous member, a thoughtful person”
Around the tomb of Chio York Chiang – Buried with him is his brother, in the same tomb so the names on the tomb shoulders are those of their respective children
Stop number 3 Tomb of Khoo Kay Hian and his third wife Lee Poh Neo, behind are his 2 older wives and watching over the cluster his mother. The first of the tombs on the tour which is staked for exhumation as it is in the way of the proposed 8 lane highway.
Stop 4 See Tiong Wah
For more on See Tiong Wah, see here
The next stop 5, took participants up another part of Hill 2 into an overgrown tomb belonging to Boey Chuan Poh who built Wan Qing Wan
Stop 6 Tan Chor Nam
Stop 7 Lim Keng Chiew
Stop 8 Khoo Seok Wan
Read about it here
Stop 9 Leow Chia Heng
For more on Leow, please click here
Look out for Revolutionary Tours in October in English!