History detective, historian, investigative writer & specialist tour guide

In August 1943,a battered pre-war fishing vessel, now re-named Krait and flying Japanese colours, sailed to Singapore from Australia. On board was a band of intrepid Australian and British saboteurs, who transferred to small two-man kayaks and, under cover of darkness, placed magnetic limpet mines on the hulls of seven Japanese ships at anchor in Singapore Harbour. This daring mission, known as Operation Jaywick, was one of the most successful raids of World War 2. The following year there was a follow-up raid, Operation Rimau. However, before the mission could be carried out as planned, the raiding party was spotted. Although a small group managed to attack two ships, all were forced to scatter and flee.

In the ensuing weeks, every one of the 23 men involved was either captured, killed or died in custody. Ten of those captured were tried as spies at Raffles College in Singapore. All were found guilty. On 7 July 1945 they were taken to a patch of wasteland off Reformatory Road and beheaded. Their bodies, recovered post-war, were buried in Kranji War Cemetery.

Jaywick’s raiding party. Five of the six volunteered for Operation Rimau.

The effects of both these raids had far reaching and tragic consequences for the people of Singapore. Unaware that the raiders had come from outside, the Japanese laid the blame squarely at the feet of local people, acting under the direction of prominent British internees. Determined to discover who was responsible for the attacks, the kempei tai (secret police) began mass arrests of the civilian population on 10 October 1943, the tenth day of the tenth month. Some of those questioned, including Mrs Elizabeth Choy, were subjected to prolonged torture before being released. Others died under interrogation. Some were sentenced to terms of imprisonment in Outram Road Gaol, where they died in custody. The severed heads of those executed, including many whose names are unknown, were displayed on spikes on city streets. This reign of terror, known as the Double Tenth Massacre, lasted for more than twelve months and took the lives of many innocent people.

Kempei tai Torture Centre, Stamford Road.

Post-war investigations revealed that the ten Rimau men had been beheaded on a patch of ground close to the present-day intersection of Dover and Clementi (formerly Reformatory) Roads. In 1992, Lynette Silver forwarded this evidence to Peter Macmillan, an expatriate Australian living in Singapore. With the help of an elderly Chinese man, who lived near Dover Road, Macmillan isolated the killing field to a small area of fenced-off land, at that time under the control of the Ministry of Defence,  just behind the (then) Warren Golf Club House. In September the following year, Lynette began a campaign to have the site not only recognised, but also to have the men of Operation Rimau, and, equally importantly, the Double Tenth victims, honoured.

The execution site in 1993

In 2012, nineteen years later, and with the considerable support of the director of the Changi Museum, Mr Ayadurai Jeyathurai, who independently checked the evidence and verified the location, her campaign to have the execution site marked came to an end, with  the Rimau Historic Marker  installed on Dover Road as part of a wartime Heritage Trail. However, while this long-awaited marker tells the story of the Rimau men, Lynette was disappointed to find no reference, at all, to the terrible price paid for the Jaywick and Rimau raids, by the people of Singapore.

For the full story of Operations Jaywick and Rimau, details of the subsequent Double Tenth Massacre, and the efforts made to locate and have the execution site marked, see Lynette’s book, Deadly Secrets.

Lynette at the Rimau Historic Marker, on Dover Road.


Elizabeth Choy, honoured for her bravery in 1946

An excellent booklet, produced by Singapore’s National Heritage Board, has a map showing the position of the 20 historic markers,  and details on many other places relevant to WW2.

Heritage Board WW2 Trail

Operation Rimau Honour Roll

Executed in Singapore, 7 July 1945

  1. Major R M Ingleton, Royal Marines, aged 25
  2. Captain R C Page, Australian Imperial Force, aged 24.
  3. Lieutenant W G Carey, Australian Imperial Force, aged 31.
  4. Lieutenant A L Sargent, Australian Imperial Force, aged 26.
  5. Warrant Officer A Warren, Australian Imperial Force, aged 32.
  6. Sergeant D P Gooley, Australian Imperial Force, aged 27
  7. Corporal R B Fletcher, Australian Imperial Force, aged 29
  8. Corporal C M Stewart, Australian Imperial Force, aged 35.
  9. Able Seaman W G Falls, Royal Australian Naval Reserve, aged 25.
  10. Lance Corporal John Thomas Hardy, Australian Imperial Force, aged 23.

Killed in action, died while trying to escape, or died in captivity

  1. Lieutenant-Colonel I Lyon, Gordon Highlanders, KIA, Soreh Island, Indonesia, 16 October 1944, aged 29.
  2. Lieutenant-Commander D M N Davidson, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, died at Tapai Island, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia, 18 October 1944, aged 35
  3. Lieutenant B P Reymond, Royal Australian Naval Reserve, died off Satai Cape, Borneo, 21 December 1944, aged 31.
  4. Sub-Lieutenant J G M Riggs, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, KIA, Merapas Island, Indonesia, 5 November 1944, aged 21.
  5. Lieutenant Harold Robert Ross, British Army General List, KIA, Soreh Island,  Indonesia, 16 October 1944, aged 27.
  6. Warrant Officer J Willersdorf, Australian Imperial Force, died at Dili, Timor, February 1945, aged 22.
  7. Sergeant Colin Barclay Cameron, Australian Imperial Force, KIA, Merapas Island, Indonesia, 5 November 1944, aged 21.
  8. Corporal A G P Campbell, Australian Imperial Force, died at Tapai Island, Indonesia, 18 October 1944, aged 24.
  9. Corporal C M Craft, Australian Imperial Force, died off Satai Cape, Borneo, 21 December 1944, aged 25.
  10. Able Seaman A W G Huston, Royal Australian Naval Reserve, died off Buaja Island, Indonesia, 16 December 1944, aged 20.
  11. Able Seaman F W L Marsh, Royal Australian Naval Reserve, died at Tanjung Pagar, Singapore, 11 January 1945, aged 20.
  12. Lance Corporal H J Pace, Australian Imperial Force, died at Dili, Timor, June 1945, aged 32.
  13. Private D R Warne, Australian Imperial Force, died at Surabaya, Java, April 1945, aged 24.

The Double Tenth Massacre Honour Roll

 The following are known to have been taken into custody and interrogated. Names marked with * did not survive. Many more, whose names are unknown, also suffered and died.

From Changi Civilian Internment Camp

  1. Birse, A L
  2. Blackstad, G C C
  3. Bloom, Mrs Freddie
  4. Bowyer, Dr T H*
  5. Bryning, H E W*
  6. Buchanan, Mr A*
  7. Buckley, T A
  8. Burns, R
  9. Calderwood, Robert
  10. Cherry, William Thorpe
  11. Chettle, A
  12. Clark, Mr Justice Adrian J*
  13. Coulson, Norman*
  14. Curtis, Walter S V
  15. Dalton, J
  16. Dawson, R M
  17. Day, W H
  18. Dunlop, J W
  19. Earl, Lionel Richard Franklin
  20. Fisher, O E
  21. Francis, Mr
  22. Fraser, Sir Hugh*
  23. Gibson, F H
  24. Gilmour, C C B
  25. Goodall, Lionel Arthur
  26. Grosuch, L H
  27. Hagger, S A*
  28. Hardman, J
  29. Hebditch, E G
  30. Hill, H L
  31. Hilterman, Charles Eric
  32. Jackson, Clarence Cyril
  33. Jelany, SM S
  34. Johns, Dr B M
  35. Ker, A W W*
  36. Little, W R
  37. Long, John Spurrier*
  38. MacIntosh, James
  39. McIntyre, H
  40. Middlebrook, Stanley Musgrave*
  41. Milne, J A
  42. Nixon, Dorothy
  43. Penseler, W*
  44. Perry, D V P*
  45. Rendle, Hilary Cameron R*
  46. Scott, Robert H
  47. Sidney, R
  48. Smith, F J
  49. Stanley, Dr C A*
  50. Stanley, R E
  51. Stevens, E S
  52. Stevenson, W L*
  53. Travis, Samuel Eric
  54. Wardle, R A
  55. Williams, Dr Cecily D
  56. Wilson, Bishop John L
  57. Worley, Mr Justice N A
  58. Yoxall, Walter Thomas

From Singapore

  1. Ah Chan
  2. Chan Soo Chen
  3. Chan Yeng Fong
  4. Choy, Mr
  5. Choy, Mrs Elizabeth
  6. Clarke, Dr Fowlie*
  7. Cornelius, Mr S
  8. Cornelius, Mrs
  9. Drysdale, Mr
  10. Eason, H J
  11. Ebert, R Edward
  12. Ebert, Reginald Victor
  13. Ellow, Mr
  14. Fernando, T Ernest
  15. Gelani, Dr
  16. Ho Tak Chiang
  17. Hoffman, Leslie
  18. Joseph, Frances
  19. Kathay, Mr
  20. Khoo Fook Tan
  21. Koo Hock Choo, Dr
  22. Lean, Mrs Ah Beck
  23. Lia Sia
  24. One Lin Seong
  25. Royston, Lewis
  26. Sheppard, C F
  27. Sim Keng Yong
  28. Singh, Mahinder
  29. Swee Lye Huat
  30. Tan Yew Cheng
  31. Webb, Guy
  32. Wee Eik Teck
  33. Wong Cheong Khin

From Changi POW Camp

  1. Redy, Charles
  2. Woudenberg, Cornelis*
  3. Zaayer, J W