The Bukit Brown Cemetery Documentation Project

\ Documentation of history \ biographies and family histories


Tok Cheng Tuan (卓清端, 1889? – 1927, LTA Peg No. 1948)



Tok Cheng Tuan was a storekeeper at the Anglo French Trading Company. In February 1926, while walking to work, he was shot by an assailant by the name of Tan Kim Swee. By a twist of fate, he survived as his leather belt deflected the bullet, which avoided his vital organs but was still embedded near his spine. (Unfortunately he died a year later, but whether it was because of this wound remained unknown). The assailant was sentenced to 7 years of hard labour and given 12 strokes of the whip.

Tok Cheng Tuan died at his house at 61 Club Street on 6 May 1927. He was only 38 years old, leaving behind his wife Oon Tuan Cheng, two sons and four daughters. Oon Tuan Cheng passed away on 28 Sept 1951 at age 61 and was buried next to him. After her husband’s death, Oon Tuan Cheng had to bear further family tragedy when her two sons were taken away by the Japanese during the Japanese Occupation. 

Grave characteristics:

This is a large hybrid grave with Chinese and Western characteristics. While the general frame of the grave follows the Hokkien style, the grave has a number of distinctive Western features, such as the stone sofas inlaid with marble, western angels among the stone carvings, and the very distinctive near A4-size ceramic photographs embedded on shield-like structures. Tok Cheng Tuan was of Hakka origins, and looked rather westernized in his suit, while his wife was in Nonya or Straits Chinese dress. The Peranakan influence was also evident in the decorative ceramic tiles that lined the rim behind the headstones.

Authors: Peter Pak, Hui Yew-Foong