Friday, February 22, 2019

Sng Puah Neo and its battle-scarred tomb (Bukit Brown)

Madam Sng Puah Neo passed away at the age of 80 on 8th March 1925. She is survived by two sons, Koh Cho Beng and Koh Cho Heng. Madam Sng Puah Neo is buried in Hill 1 F, plot 305. From the little information i have, his son Koh Cheng Beng worked for the Mercantile Bank Ltd.

Madam Sng Puah Neo

Malayan Tribune 5 May 1828 (source: NewspaperSG)

Battle scarred tombs

Madam Sng Puah Neo's tomb is adorned with beautiful decorative tiles but part of her marble headstone was partially destroyed (for reasons unknown yet) and on the side of her tomb, there are clear signs of possible small artillery shell impact. The neighbouring tomb (tomb of Chia Hock Watt)  to her also shows possible signs of small caliber bullet shell impact on the tomb shoulder. The battle scarred tombs of Bukit Brown as a result of the fierce battle that took place here between the retreating British and its Allied forces and the invading Japanese soldiers on the final days before the fall of Singapore on 15th February 1942 were not well documented, but thanks to visible signs and oral account of descendants, we are fortunate to be able to mark out some of this tombs.

Madam Sng Puah Neo battle scarred tomb 

tomb shoulder of Chia Hock Watt with small calibre shell impact

Another tomb that came to mind was Mr Oei Bok Sien's tomb at Hill 3 Division A used to have a gashing hole in the middle of the tomb. From oral accounts, it was hit by shrapnel of a mortar shell. However evidence of that is no longer visible as descendants have since renovated it.

Oei Bok Sien's tomb with a hole in the headstone. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Mrs. Koh Cheng Kiat and family (Bukit Brown)

Madam Lim Keok Neo alias Lim Swee Neo nee Mrs Koh Cheng Kiat passed away at the age of 73 on July 3, 1939 at 24, Lorong 24A, Geylang. She leaves behind 4 sons; Koh Soon Yee, Koh Soon Huat, Koh Soon Poh and  1 daughter ( Koh Tan Neo), 1 son-in-law; Yeo Siew Chuan, several daughter-in-laws and grandchildren to mourn her lost. ( Grandsons: Koh Tiong Wah, Koh Tiong Hoe, Koh Tiong Sim, Koh Chwee Seng, Koh Hock Seng, Koh Kim Seng). Madam Lim Keok Neo came from an old and prominent family. Her grandfather was the late Mr. Lim Pye Lan and her father Mr. Lim Eng Keng (a former Municipal Commissioner).

Grandfather: Lim Lan alias Lim Pye Lan
Lim Lan passed away in July 1875. The firm Lim Lian & Co was already well known in 1869 and had branches at Palembang and Sarawak. Lim Lan was known to his friends by the nickname of "Pai Lan" because he was lame on one foot.

Father: Lim Eng Keng
Lim Eng Keng J.P. (1837-1892) was the eldest of the 3 sons of Lim Lan. (His other brothers are Lim Eng Wan and Lim Eng Yong. He was a managing partner of the firm, Lim Lan & Co, Director of the Singapore Insurance Co and Singapore Land Co. Lim Eng Keng was elected a Municipal Commissioner and served until his death on 27th January 1892 at the age of 55.

Son: Koh Soon Huat
Koh Soon Huat of Borneo Co. Ltd (son of Mrs. Koh Cheng Kiat and grandson of the late Mr. Lim Eng Keng) engaged to Miss Baby Lee (daughter of  Mr. Lee Chim Bong and the late Mrs Lee Chim Bong of Amoy Street).

[research on-going]

Announcement. (1925, November 13). The Straits Times, page 8
Death. (1939, July 5). The Straits Times, page 2
Funeral of Mrs. Koh Cheng Kiat. (1939, July 11). The Straits Times, page 14

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Seow Cue Mee (Bukit Brown)

On the tomb shoulder are carved the words: Erected in the remembrance of a life full of devotion and filled with love. Seow Cue Mee, age 79. In loving memory of our much beloved and highly esteemed father:
Seow Choon Siew
Seow Swee Neo
Seow Kwee Neo
Seow Keng Neo

Seow Cue Mue died on 2 May 1927 and is buried in Hill 2 C, plot 48

Seow Cue Mee

Burial record of Seow Cue Mee

Mrs Seow Cue Mee nee Neo Poh Neo passed away on 27 June 1928 at her residence No 280-H Race Course Road off Serangoon Road. She leaves behind 1 son, Seow Choon Siew, 3 daughters (Seow Swee Neo, Seow Kwee Neo, Seow Keng Neo), several grandchildren. Neo Poh Neo is buried in Bukit Brown. She was listed as 76 years old and is buried in Hill 2 C, plot 49.

Birth, Marriages, Death. (1928, June 28). Malayan Tribune, page 8

Friday, February 01, 2019

Cheong Keong Ann (Bukit Brown)

Cheong Keong Ann alias Nyachee was the eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Cheong Koon Seng. Cheong Keong Ann passed away at the age of 19 on 11th August 1924. She is buried in Hill 1 E, plot 146. From a posting in, it is said that Cheong Keong Ann is the daughter of Chia Chye Hay Neo.  There is very little information about her other than the fact that she was listed as the eldest daughter of Cheong Koon Seng 鍾坤成, the proprietor of Messrs. Cheong Koon Seng & Co. and holds the honor of being one of the best known pioneer local auctioneers and estate agents in Singapore. Cheong Koon Seng passed away peacefully at his residence, "Valley-side" in No 299 River Valley Road at 9 am on March 20, 1934 at the age of 55. He was survived by his wife (Chia Siew Tin), three sons ( Cheong Hock Chye, Cheong Hock Guan and Cheong Hock Leng), 4 daughters (Cheong Keong Poh,Cheong Keong Tee, Cheong Keong Tuan, Cheong Keong Hee, and 1 adopted daughter, Cheong Keong Hiok)  and 4 grandchildren.

Miss Cheong Keong Ann 

Miss Cheong Keong Ann tomb after clean up on 31/05/2019

Decorative tiles 

Cheong Koon Seng (source: NewspaperSG) 

Cheong Koon Seng & Co at Kling Street

Mother: Chia Chye Hay Neo (died 1916)
Madam Chia Chye Hay Neo, wife of Cheong Koon Seng passed away on  May 16, 1916 at No 681 North Bridge Road at the age of 36. Madam Chia Chye Hay Neo is the daughter of Mr. Chia Ann Siang (this is my theory and not proven yet). She is buried together with her mother-in-law, Mrs. Cheong Ann Bee

Chia Chye Hay Neo 


Brother: Cheong Hock Chye
Cheong Hock Chye started his own auction firm, Cheong Hock Chye and Co, Ltd at 1-A, Raffles Place in 1940. Cheong Hock Chye, J.P passed away at the age of 49 on 27th February 1949. He is survived by his widow, 2 sons (Cheong Thiam Siew, Cheong Thiam Gee and Cheong Thiam Chin), 2 daughters(Cheong Liang Neo, Cheong Tian Neo), 2 daughters-in-law, 1 son-in-law and 1 granddaughter. The cortege left from No 6 Brighton Avenue to Whitley Road Burial Ground.

Stepsister: Miss Cheong Keong Poh 
Miss Cheong Keong Poh (eldest daughter of the late Mr. Cheong Koon Seng and Mrs Cheong Koon Seng) got engaged on September 1935 to Mr. Chan Chee Seng (eldest son of  Mr. and Mrs S. J. Chan). 

Stepsister: Miss Cheong Keong Tee
Miss Cheong Keong Tee (2nd daughter of the late Mr. Cheong Koon Seng and Mrs Cheong Koon Seng) got engaged on October 1936 to Mr. Ang Kim Sye of the Bankruptcy Office (6th son of  the late Mr. Ang Seah Im and Mrs Ang Seah Im). 

Stepsister: Miss Cheong Keong Tuan
Miss Cheong Keong Tuan (3rd daughter of the late Mr. Cheong Koon Seng and Mrs Cheong Koon Seng) got engaged on January 1936 to Mr. Koh Kong Hai (6th son of Mr and Mrs Koh Sek Lim of Geluga Bedoh Estate, Singapore).