Sketch by Jack Chalker

Funk Holes of Singapore

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Tigers in the Park

Funk Holes in Singapore

Funk Hole Construction

Muller described the work they undertook on the tunnels

‘I worked outside the camp, digging U-shaped tunnels at the base of a hill. The long ends of the U were approximately 25 meters (80 feet) apart. Together with a mix of Dutch, British and Australian POWs I had to dig a trench approximately 5 meters wide by 2.5 meters deep (16 feet by 6.5 feet) into the hill. Then we connected the short part of the U. The tunnels were supported by a wooden retaining wall. We speculated that building this bunker was a sign that Japanese expected an invasion of Singapore.’8

Horseshoe Entrance-tn

Post war aerial photograph showing the ‘horseshoe’ entrances to tunnels on Hill 95 next to a pre-war Bofor gun position and overlooking Sime Road.

Horseshoe Entrance closeup

Close up of Hill 95 and horseshoe tunnels

Funk Hole Entrance Sime Road

The entrance to a tunnel photographed after the war – note the railtrack on which to move the spoil from the tunnel.

 (Courtesy Australian War Memorial AWM 19348)


Aerial View N0.14-15-16 Adam Park
Aerial View N0.14-15-16 Adam Park-2

The tell-tale white blotches of spoil can be clearly seen in this post war aerial photograph of the Adam Park estate with tracks leading into the tunnel entrances built into the side of the garden terracing. These images account for the tunnel entrances shown on the Mackenzie map as being outwith the Sime Road Camp

Also shows the same area today with little visible evidence of the entrance to the tunnels

 (Courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore)


Aerial View No 16 Adam Park

A similar excavation can been seen in the front garden of No 18 Adam Park.

(Courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore)

 This work may account for the midden pit discovered by archaeologists in 2013 just outside the house which was full of military items more associated with peacetime activity than the fighting that took place on the estate.

The Adam Road Camp was still in use at the end of the war. The first allied troops parachuted onto the Turf City race track headed towards their first stop over at the Sime Road Civilian having passed by the Adam Road camp on route. Many of the POWs took the opportunity to get their group photographs taken under the flagpole on the parade square at Adam Road. A full list of the Australians found in the camp was printed in the Argus Newspaper on 17th September 1945, mistakenly declaring them survivors of the ‘Adam Park’ camp (See Appendix 1)


Inmates at Adam Park 1945

Group photographs of the inmates at the Adam Road Camp

(Courtesy of Sheri Iamele)

This image was taken in July 1945. USN rating Joseph Schertz can be seen in the back row second from the left wearing his USN issue white cap. Schertz was a survivor of the USS Houston, Thailand and Changi.

Inmates at Adam Park 1945-2

Charles Thrale is seen in this group photograph taken at the Adam Road Camp on the day of liberation

 (Courtesy of IWM -Art.IWM ARCH 41)

For most part, the tunnels and workings were filled in after the war but many of the entrances can be spotted in the post war aerial photographs now held in the Singapore National Archives. A full survey of all the tunnels is still to be done but there remains tantalising archaeological evidence of some of the entrances to the Sime Road tunnels still in the landscape.

(See  for a video taken at the entrance of one of the Sime Road tunnels)

Looking further afield on post war aerial photographs held at the National Archives of Singapore ( ) there several other tell-tale signs of tunnel entrances south of Adam Park but now subsumed by the new housing estates. POWs also report building similar structures around the Bukit Timah area but there has not been a comprehensive study made of the photographic archive to identify these possible sites.

To conclude the work of the X parties remains a subject still to be researched in detail. The good news is that there is still evidence to be explored of their work in the landscape. Of the nine tunnel entrances located by MacKenzie on his map at least six seem to have survived post war development, including the latest expansion of the Lornie Road and PIE. However, these sites will not be around forever and require urgent investigation before they too are lost to urban development.



8 Email dated 15 May 2015 Jack Muller /Jon Cooper






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