ABOVE: Replica 7-Inch Shells. Copper studs which were embedded in the shells engaged in the rifling in the barrel. When fired, these spun the shells increasing stability in flight and accuracy.
Above: Two 7-Inch RML gun barrels photographed in 1993. The old monorail station, now the Surrender Chamber, is in the background. The original 7-Inch RML emplacements were on either side of the station.
In 1876, the Governor of the Straits Settlements, F. Drummond Jervois, had different ideas on armament when he proposed a battery at Siloso. He wrote:-
One work on Blakan Mati would be on Mount Siloso, at an elevation of 170 feet, and the other on Mount Serapong at an elevation of 303 feet above the sea.
“The work on Mount Siloso would defend the Western entrance of the New Harbour; sweep the front of Blakan Mati and the south western coast of the island of Singapore; and also bring a fire to bear upon any vessel that might have succeeded in forcing its way into the New Harbour. I propose that this work should be an open battery, with all necessary accessories, and armed with 6 10 Inch M.L.R. Guns.”
Even earlier, in 1859, a ‘Report on the Sea Coast defences of Singapore’ had recommended arming Siloso:-
“44. The Battery on point Rimau seems to be of the utmost importance by ship to enter the Harbour must come stern towards it, the position is next to unaccessible it is a better site in every way than Lots wife is on the mainland and easier garrisoned, it would not so well defend the harbour on the shore as the other, and might were as there no Battery on Point Rimau be taken on reverse or turned at the North-East angle of the Point Rimau position there will be two 68 pounder heavy guns to sweep of the whole face of Blakan Mati which is almost straight here and on which landing is not easy from the reefs in front of it.”