Casemates were buildings built to provide accommodation, office and storage space. In some Forts Casemates also housed guns. The Casemates at Fort Siloso would have been familiar to Gunners around the world. In Singapore, other Casemates can still be found on Mount Serapong and at the Labrador Battery at Labrador Park. It is thought that the Casemates were not constructed before the Fort entered service.
The 1885 plan above would seem to show that only the two end rooms of the Casemates were enclosed. The four rooms in the centre would appear to be open to the air.
By 1896, all rooms in the Casemates were enclosed and had specific uses. The Artillery Store on the left measures 5 feet (1.52m) at the front and 12 feet 6 inches (3.81m) at the back wall, and is 22 feet 6 inches (6.86m) deep. The Lamp Room is 8 feet (2.44m) wide and 12 feet (3.66m) deep. The other four rooms are 18 feet (5.49m) wide by 24 feet (7.32m) deep. The walls between the rooms are 3 feet (0.91m) thick. The Artillery Store in the 1896 plan was, by 1912, a Filled Shell Store.
Alain Henry de Frahan from Belgium has identified the truck in the photograph as a Dodge WC-52, a type not in service with British forces prior to 1942. The photograph was probably taken in the late 1940s following the British return to Singapore in September 1945.
RIGHT: A soldier outside the casemates. It looks as if he has been polishing the bowl that he is holding. It is probable that this man was a member of 1st Singapore Coast Artillery Battery, who moved into Fort Siloso in August 1946.
LEFT: The Casemates looking somewhat dilapidated in this 1993 video still. Ventilation Shafts can be seen in the top left.
Each room in the Casemates was originally separate, with a wall 3 feet thick between them. Unfortunately, some of rooms have now been connected by doors cut into the walls between them. This really is tampering with history, and constitutes an act of vandalism to the history of the Fort.