Singapore

Leslie Cole (1910 - 1976)

Watercolour on paper

1945
  • About the work
    Location
    Country: Singapore
    City: Singapore
    Place: British High Commission
    A river runs through the foreground of this leafy city-scape of Singapore in 1945. A wide avenue leads the eye down the centre to the background, where the harbour is busy with military ships, hinting at the historical events at play. A former British colony, Singapore fell into the hands of Japan on 15 February 1942, leading to a period known as Syonanto which lasted until 12 September 1945. After Singapore’s return to British colonial rule, it would go on to become a sovereign city-state in 1965. The experience of Japanese rule is now commemorated in Singapore with Total Defense Day, which takes place annually on 15 February.
    Following the outbreak of World War II, artist Leslie Cole joined the British Royal Air Force but was soon discharged for ill health. He returned to the front as a war artist, recording events in Malta and Pantelleria (1943); France and Egypt (1944); and Greece, Germany, Singapore, Burma, Borneo and Java (1945).
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  • Details
    Title
    Singapore
    Date
    1945
    Medium
    Watercolour on paper
    Dimensions
    height: 44.50 cm, width: 94.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Presented via the Imperial War Museum, War Artists' Advisory Committee, April 1946
    Inscription
    br Leslie Cole.
    GAC number
    599