Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quadruple tomb cluster of Tan Peck Jim (Bukit Brown)

While helping a friend look for his great grandfather's tomb at Hill 4 Division B, a quadruple tomb caught my eye. I seen a number of triple tombs, but it is not often i see quadruple tombs, or essentially 4 tombs in a row. This cluster belongs to Mr Tan Peck Jim, his two wives (Low Siong Bee and Wee Cheng Neo) and her mother (Mdm Chua Poh Neo).

Quadruple tomb of Tan Peck Jim 
Starting from the left is his first wife, Mdm Low Siong Bee (died 15th June 1937), followed by his mother, Madam Chua Poh Neo (died 17th Feb 1941). The third is Mr Tan Peck Jim (died 7th October 1955) and the last is the tombstone furthest away from the picture is the 2nd wife, Madam Wee Cheng Neo (death date not listed).  Three of the tombstone heads are of the neo-classical hokkien tombstone design.

A "shipwrecked" mystery
Another thing that caught my eye was the English inscription written on Tan Peck Jim's mother tomb.
Inscription on Madam Chua Poh Neo's tomb
It reads,
 "In filial devotion to the memory of Tan Kang Whye, shipwrecked on 19th June 1897 and of his wife, Chua Poh Neo R.I.P 17th Day of February 1941".

Shipwrecked ? What happen in 1897? Did Tan Kang Whye drown at sea and body was not found?

The family 
Originating first from Malacca, their residences in Singapore is in No 25 Crescent Road and Mr Tan Peck Jim was the general manager of the Overseas Assurance Corporation Limited. When the company first incorporated in 1920, he was the Secretary. The chairman of the company was Dr Lim Boon Keng, O.B.E.,  directors include Lim Nee Soon, Ong Boon Tat, Seah Eng Lim, Tan Ean Khiam, Siew Qui Wong and Li Chwee Chian.

His first wife died in 15th June 1937 leaving behind 1 son, Kim Hock and 2 daughters, Kim Choo and Kim Suan. His mother, Madam Chua Poh Neo was next to pass away on 17th Feb 1941, 2 days after the fall of Singapore ! (she left behind two sons , Peck Jim and Peck Hoe and two daughters ( Peck Eng and Peck Kim).

Mr Tan Peck Jim himself passed away on  7 October 1955 at the age of 64. Together with his second wife, Mdm Wee Cheng Neo, they had another son, Kim Siew and another daughter Kim Hua. It is unknown when Cheng Neo died.

Various news clippings of the family

Overseas Assurance. (1920, September 23). The Singapore Free Press, page 200.
Advertisments. (1921, August 17). The Singapore Free Press, page 5
Mrs Low Siong Bee's Funeral. (1937, June, 22). The Straits Times, page 10.
Death. (1941, February 17). The Straits Times, page 2.
Deaths. (1955, October, 8). The Straits Times, page 6.

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