Tan Jiak Chuan (former Alexandra Cemetery)

Mr. Tan Jiak Chuan was the only son of the late Mr. Tan Beng Gum and the first cousin of the Hon. Tan Jiak Kim (Chinese Representative on the Legislative Council) and the managing partner in the firm of Messrs. Kim Seng and Company, Boat Quay. It was said that Tan Jiak Chuan managed the day-to-day business, its mining and plantation,  allowing Tan Jiak Kim more time to focus on the public affairs. 

Tan Jiak Chuan passed away at the age of 51 at his residence, Panglima Prang, River Valley Road on 4 January 1909. He passed away just after his returned from hot springs in Malacca. He fell in and Dr. Galloway was called in but he passed away from hyperpyrexia (extreme high fever).
Tan Jiak Chuan leaves behind a widow (wife by second marriage), 2 sons, Messrs. Tan Soo Jin and Tan Soo Guan, 7 daughters (by his former wife).

Tan Jiak Chuan 

A Big Funeral - A Mile Long Procession 

According to Chinese custom, the body was kept in his house in a big wooden coffin sealed such that no air can go in or out. Every clan in Singapore sent a representative to the funeral. On the 23 February 1909 morning a huge procession gathered. Wrapped on top of the coffin was a Kuan-tah beautifully decorated in embroidered silk of rich colouring and was of very fine workmanship. The coffin was massive and heavy and 64 bearers that took turns to carry it. The chief mourners were Tan Soo Jin and Tan Soon Wah. Dressed in Chinese funeral sack cloth, they walk immediately behind the monster coffin. Near to them were the Hon. Tan Jiak Kim and his eldest son, Mr. Tan Soo Bin. Among those present were the chinese community leaders and merchants such as Messrs. Seah Liang Seah, Ong Soo Tee, Ong Tiang Soon, Tan Keng Wah, Khoo Pee Soon, Low Long Teng, Chia Keng Chay, Lim Teck Wee, Tan Teck Soon, Tan Boo Liat, Tan Kwee Swee, Tan Chay Yan (of Malacca), Ong Teck Lim, Seow Soon Kim, Tan Hap Leong, Seah Eng Kiat, Lee Choon Guan, Wee Kim Yam , Choa Giang Thye, Chia Keng Chay, Chia Keng Chin, Lee Keng Kiat and Wee Theam Tew. About 30 of the Chetty community were also present.

P.C. Blyton and half a dozen Malay Constables provided police control but it was not needed as the paper reported that there were local headman managing the crowds and procession. Each clan also brought a band of chinese musicians and 2 Manila bands. At 11 o'clock, the procession commenced the march to Alexandra Road. The "Dead March in Saul" was played from the Manila bands and this was mingled with the crashing of the Chinese music and mournful wailing of the women. The article below describes the procession 

The procession arrived the cemetery at 12:30 and a dozen attap and kajang sheds with food and ice drinks for the group that participated in the procession. By 1:30 pm, the combined band played, prayers were said by the monks, crackers were fired and the coffin lowered to the grave and earth filled and the crowd dispersed.  


The late Mr. Tan Jiak Chuan left the legacies of $1,000 to Raffles Institution, Chinese Free School (at Amoy Street) and Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Tan Jiak Chuan Scholarship (funded by Tan Soo Guan in 1919) which provides for chinese graduates of Raffles College.   Finally there is a street named after him: Jiak Chuan Road 

Tan Jiak Chuan 


Son: Tan Soo Jin
On7 May 1925, Mr. Tan Soo Jin (eldest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Tan Jiak Chuan) to Miss Lee Kim Lian (youngest daughter of the late Mr. Lee Peck Gum and Mrs. Lee Peck Gum). Tan Soo Jin passed away at the age of 72 on 12 May 1952 at No 117 Pasir Panjang Road. He was buried at the family burial ground in Alexandra Road.

Son: Tan Soo Guan
Tan Soo Guan passed away at the age of  67 at his residence, No 72-A, St. Patrick Road 17 November 1953 leaving behind;
Wife: Madam Ong Chwee Neo
Sons: Tan Eng Kim, George Tan Eng Poh
Daughters:  Mrs. Khoo Cheng Bee nee Tan Tian Neo, Tan Geok Neo
Son-in-law: Khoo Cheng Bock 
Son: Tan Soo Chye
The wedding of Mr. Tan Soo Chye (the popular President of Singapore Amateur Weight Lifting Association and the youngest son of the late Mr. Tan Jiak Chuan and Mrs. Tan Jiak Chuan) to Miss Quek Pay Choo (youngest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Quek Beng Chiew) took place in 1935, with 350 guest present. 

Tan Soo Chye and Quek Pay Choo 

Location of tomb 

The photo of this cluster of tombs related to Tan Kim Seng descendants was taken when it was located at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery. However in 18 July 2017, a jointly issued statement by MND, NEA and SLA  required the exhumation of 45,500 Chinese and 35,000 Muslim graves for the Tengah Air Base expansion. This cluster of tombs no longer exist. The remains are likely now at Choa Chu Kang Columbarium. 

Tan Jiak Chuan

Choa Chu Kang Cemetery where the cluster of relocated tombs was once located before being exhumed yet again due to Tengah Airbase expansion 


Tan Jiak Chuan. (website). Singapore Tombstones Epigraphic Materials 新加坡墓碑铭集录
TAN Jiak Chuan, 陳若銓,18 (礽).(website).Geni.com
Jiak Chuan Street house: exterior. (website). PictureSG



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