SCDF Officers Braved the Heavy Rain to Send Off Firefighter Edward H. Go


After the fire at a fourth-story Housing Development Board (HDB) unit at Henderson Road that claimed the life of a 19-year-old last Thursday (8 December), it was announced that a ceremonial funeral would be held for the NSF involved.

The funeral of Edward H Go, the very first firefighter in Singapore to pass away during a firefighting mission, took place today (13 December).

Before the funeral, it was also announced that he would be posthumously promoted from his original rank of Corporal (CPL) to Sergeant (SGT1).

Here’s what happened at his funeral.

The Procession

At around 1.03 pm, SGT1 Go’s casket arrived at Mandai Crematorium after his wake at Trinity Casket at 38 Sin Ming drive ended around half an hour before that at 12.30 pm.

The casket covered with the Singapore flag was then transferred from the hearse to a Red Rhino vehicle with black drapes. The Red Rhino then ferried the casket to Crematorium Hall 1.

Members of the Singapore Police Force Band were stationed approximately 100m away from the service hall to lead the hearse to the hall. At the same time, an escort party comprised of SCDF officers followed closely behind.

More than 100 officers from the 1st Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) division were also present. They stood along both sides of the road and saluted the flag-covered casket when it drove past.

21 firefighters from Central Fire Station, where SGT1 Go served before his passing, made up the pallbearing party and escort party. Out of the 21 firefighters, there were regular officers and NSFs who were also at the Henderson Road fire alongside SGT1 Go.

Eight of them carried SGT1 Go’s casket into the service hall.

SCDF Commissioner Eric Yap, 1st SCDF Division commander Colonel Firoz Ramjan, and Central Fire Station commander Major Joe Ong laid wreaths during the procession.

In total, there were around 250 SCDF officers present at SGT1 Go’s ceremonial funeral.

Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, the Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development, was also present.

Before the funeral procession, other political figures such as President Halimah Yacob and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also offered their condolences, with the latter attending his wake.

After the procession, SGT1 Go’s family and friends entered the service hall alongside the casket for the cremation service.

The Cremation Service

The cremation service was private, with only friends and family members allowed to enter the service hall. Eulogies were delivered during the service as well.


At around 2 pm, individuals started to stream out of the service hall. Most of them had worn black or white to mourn the occasion.

These people included SGT1 Go’s parents, Mr Daniel C Go and Mrs Helen Go, and his sister, Rachel, who left the hall holding her brother’s photograph.

Commissioner Yap also presented the state flag to his parents during the procession.

After that, the Last Post bugle call, which represented the end of SGT1 Go’s duty to the nation, was sounded.

Personnel at the funeral also observed a minute of silence following the call.


Remembered by Former Vice-Principal

When speaking to The Straits Times, SGT1 Go’s secondary school vice-principal, Mrs Aw Meng Yin, recalled him as a “respectful and unassuming” young man while expressing the school, his teachers’ and classmates’ grief upon learning of his passing.

The vice-principal of Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road), where SGT1 Go studied during his secondary school days, said he was always smiling. In particular, his teachers described him as someone who “lived life with purpose and a strong sense of honour”.

SGT1 Go helped tutor his classmates in mathematics and encouraged his peers to do well in both basketball and studies.

As a passionate student, basketball player and debater, he joined the basketball team in his lower secondary days before joining the school’s debate team afterwards. He also served as the debate team’s club secretary from 2018 to 2019.

His love for basketball extended beyond his secondary school days, as evident from how he met up to play basketball with his former classmates just one day before his passing.

She added that it was a “privilege” to have gotten to know SGT1 Go and to have “called him one of their own”.


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Fire Call Alarms Across the Island Were Sounded in the Morning

Before the funeral procession, all 23 of SCDF’s fire stations, along with the SCDF headquarters, division headquarters and Civil Defence Academy, sounded their fire call alarms today (13 December) morning.

This was for SGT1 Go’s “last call”. He was then posthumously promoted to the rank of SGT1 and was given full ceremonial honours.

Apart from the “last call”, SCDF officers observed a minute of silence as a mark of respect and paid tribute to SGT1 Go.

Commissioner Yap also gave a short speech at the SCDF headquarters. In particular, he highlighted that SGT1 Go’s selflessness, professionalism and commitment would be remembered.

Investigations regarding the firefighting mission are currently ongoing.


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Featured Image: + Facebook (Lianhe Zaobao 联合早报)