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Museum Musings: National Museum of Singapore Commemorates The 75th Anniversary of Operation Jaywick

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 9.35.25 AM
Film stills from ‘Dark Victory – Operation Jaywick: Singapore 1943’. Courtesy of the National Museum of Singapore and the Australian National Maritime Museum.

As part of the 75th Anniversary of wartime commando raid Operation Jaywick, the National Museum of Singapore has collaborated with the Australian National Maritime Museum to produce a brand new short film.

Titled Dark Victory – Operation Jaywick: Singapore 1943, In the film, we watch a chronological overview of Operation Jaywick and its aftermath, reenacted through archival footage, news reports and computer-generated imagery. Operation Jaywick, which occurred on 26 September 1943 during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore in World War Two, the raid resulted in Japanese shipping vessels being destroyed in Singapore waters by a crew of Australian operatives.

The film will be featured in the National Museum’s Singapore History Gallery in 2019 as part of the World War Two narrative. expanding on the section about the story of Singaporean wartime heroine Elizabeth Choy, who was arrested and interrogated for almost 200 days in the aftermath of Operation Jaywick. In the aftermath, the Kempeitai (Japanese military police) interrogating and torturing civilian residents in Singapore and internees from Changi Prison for their suspected involvement in sabotaging the Japanese vessels. Choy and her husband were directly implicated, as they had smuggled radio parts and supplies to the prison internees. Held captive for almost 200 days, Choy became a heroine in her refusal to confess to any allegations even after being tortured.

This film also marks the National Museum’s first collaboration with the Australian National Maritime Museum, part of their efforts to further cultivate diplomatic ties with our Australian counterparts and reflecting the National Museum’s commitment to engage with the wider ecosystem of international and local stakeholders and contribute to a progressive and vibrant cultural scene, and strengthening the signing of the broad Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on arts and culture cooperation between Singapore and Australia in 2015.

Says Angelita Teo, Director of the National Museum of Singapore: “We recognise the significance of such events in Singapore’s history, as well as the fortitude of various individuals and groups during the war, as they have contributed to shaping Singapore as we know it today. We are pleased to partner with the Australian National Maritime Museum to commemorate the historic event and contribute to telling the narrative of our shared history. We hope to continue collaborating with our international counterparts to present engaging recollections of history and culture that inspire and prompt reflection among our visitors.”

Dark Victory – Operation Jaywick: Singapore 1943 will be featured in the Singapore History Gallery in the National Museum of Singapore in 2019. Access is free with General Admission. For more information, visit the National Museum website here

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