11 February 1942

The Battle of Bukit Timah is fought in Singapore during World War II.

The Battle of Bukit Timah, which took place on the 11 February 1942, was part of the final stage of the Japan Imperial of Singapore during World War Two. By 10 February, the Japanese had landed on Singapore. They controlled the entire western region of Singapore and much of the north. Their next target was Bukit Timah and the capture of vital water, food, ammunition, and vehicles, machine parts and other supplies. Now, full with success, the Japanese again advanced in full strength.

Japanese troops assaulting Bukit Timah hill

On the night of 11 February 1942, the Japanese 5th Division, supported by tanks, advanced down Choa Chu Kang Road. The 12th Indian Brigade and some British troops under Major Angus MacDonald and Captain Mike Blackwood blocked the road and opened fire with an anti-tank gun, destroying one Japanese tank, but this was merely one of 40 tanks.
There followed some hand-to-hand combat, as well as bayonet charges from both sides. The poorly trained and equipped members of Dalforce were armed only with parangs, grenades, rifles and shotguns normally used for hunting, and suffered heavy injuries. By midnight, the Japanese had defeated the defenders and conquered Bukit Timah.
The British launched an attack the following morning with two brigades.However, faced with strong Japanese resistance, the attack failed.
The next day, the Japanese Imperial Guards advanced from the north, outflanking the British defenders and forcing them to retreat. In the ensuing battle, the Chinese members of Dalforce fought bravely, some to their deaths. Here, the Japanese suffered some of their heaviest casualties in the campaign to occupy Singapore.For revenge, they massacred Chinese men, women and children living in a nearby village.

11 February 1823

About 110 boys are killed at a carnival during a stampede at the Convent of the Minori Osservanti in Valletta, Malta.

The last day of carnival, 94 dead children between the ages of 15 and 16 years were brought to the men’s hospital. They had died of suffocation in the corridor of the ground floor of the convent of the Minori Osservanti of Valletta at 6.30pm after the procession that is customarily held during the days of carnival. The next day they were conveyed to the cemetery.”

At the time, Malta was experiencing rampant famine and it was customary to provide poor children from Valletta and Cottonera with bread and fruit to keep them away from the “confusion of carnival”. Food had to be distributed at the Ta’ ?ie?u convent, in Valletta, following a procession from Floriana.Several adults joined the children at the convent event to have their share of the bread being handed out. They entered through the convent’s vestry, walked through a corridor, which included a flight of eight steps, and headed towards an exit in St Ursula Street.
No less than 110 boys perished on this occasion from suffocation, by being pressed together in so small a space or trampled upon

When all were in, the vestry door was closed to stop those already given bread from going back in again for a second helping. Accidently, the lamp illuminating the corridor was extinguished and a commotion arose leading to the stampede and the death of at least 94 children, according to hospital records.The exact number of victims is not clear and, in fact, contemporary reports hold that “no less than 110 boys perished on this occasion from suffocation, by being pressed together in so small a space or trampled upon.”