Tanglin Barracks

From a nutmeg plantation to a military camp established in the mid-19th century, the region of Tanglin has transformed much throughout its history.

Intended for accommodation for the European troops, Colonel George Chancellor Collyer gave the approval for the construction of Tanglin Barracks in 1861.

The military camp consists of three main blocks (71 to 73) along Loewen Road. The design of the military barracks contains a mixture of colonial and local flavours, with huge roofs that provide good ventilation during hot and humid weather.

The government renovated and strengthened the structure of the large military barracks in 1934, but preserved the square pillars and their French roof tilings.

The Ministry of Defence and the Central Manpower Base were located here from 1972 to 1989. The camp has also previously housed important military facilities such as The Medical Classification Centre, Officers’ Personnel Centre, Naval Training Department and SAF Careers Centre.

By the early nineties, Tanglin Camp was decommissioned and handed over to the former Land Office before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took over in 2001.

After the former Land Office took over the camp, some parts of Tanglin were leased out to the private sector. Sensing a great potential in this region in 2006, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) came up with a lifestyle theme for this site, where wine, fine dining, education and arts businesses flourished together. It is now known as the Tanglin Village, which also includes the Dempsey Cluster and the Minden Cluster.

One of the exhibition sites of the Singapore Biennale 2006 was held at Tanglin Camp. Several art items, such as painting and artistic furniture, were displayed at the 71st to 73rd blocks of the military barracks.

Most of the roads in Tanglin were named after the military barracks’ commanding officers of the pre-independence era. Ridout, Lewin, Harding, Sherwood, Dempsey and Malcolm are some of the examples.

Like Seletar, Sembawang and Portsdown, there are also many black and white colonial houses in Tanglin, especially in the Dempsey region. These houses were built in the 1920s mostly for the accommodation of the military officers and their families.

Published: 31 January 2011

Updated: 08 August 2013

398 Responses to Tanglin Barracks

  1. Derek Smith says:

    Does anyone have any maps or photographs around 1955 – 57 of the long defunct Royal Signals Tape Relay Station complex & Sampan Cinema on what was then Barrack road, but is now Harding road. The only refererence left is the ” White Rabbit Restaurant ” which was formerly the Military Ebernezer Chapel. – . Amazingly neither the British Army nor the Singapore archives have proven very useful so far ! – Any information or suggestions will be gratefully accepted. – Best regards Derek Smith

    • Hi Derek, I’m not sure if there are any better alternatives than the ones you have mentioned (esp the Singapore Archives)…
      perhaps you can make a trip to the National Library and see if they can source the items you want..

    • cliff turner says:

      Sorry I cannot show you any pictures of Tanglin barracks but we had Church Parade there
      in 1954 We were with the R A O C CORPS based at Kranji singapore at 443 B A D

      The only picture that I have is on PARADE

    • Hi Derek, here’s a photo of Sampan Cinema, generously contributed by Michael Wang who has many old photos of Tanglin Barracks (from a former RAF serviceman’s album in the 1950s)

      (Photo credit: Michael Wang)

      • Janet Hilton says:

        Hi love photos. Based in Tanglin 1950/1960. Husband passed away 12 weeks ago after 59yrs, this trip dowm mmory lane is keeping me sane. Whay i like is photos of Tanglin Sam[pan cinema, Signal HQ swimmingpool and cafe at Tanglin. also husband was at Princess Mary Barracks 18 Royal Signal.

    • Peter Bragg says:

      From Signalman Peter Bragg 22048913. I was at the Receirver Stn Pasir Panjang in 1949. We worked RTTY to Tanglin from Melbourne, HK. KL, Columbo & L/-. This was over the road from the Military Cemetary, gates opposite each other. At that time the “road” terninated there, a track passed down hill over an abandoned Jap Military Rly. A Squatter family lived at this location because a spring exuded good water from our aerial field. Our Aerials were also in the Cemetary, funerals werw frequent from up country ops, air crashes, common accidents etc. The Last Post bugle still turns my mind to the scene, a number of us would visit in the evening of a funeral day to offer simple prayer. A year was enough, Release Group 136 I think, home on the Orduna same trooper I went out on. Resume GPO Telephones. All so long ago, 86 last week.

  2. John Lim says:

    Hi, I would like to ask how could we get to the abandoned buildings as indicated on the top 4 pics of this article? Would really appreciate it if someone could indicate it on the map. Thank you!

  3. John Lim says:

    GREAT! thank you!

  4. john .patrick west formerly queens royal surrey .regiment . tanglin barracks. regt. police says:

    excellent coverage of tanglin barracks. i wa based there , early 1962 to august 1963. great days

    • so was I, about 5 years old,, we live near the Guard room. The M.P.s would come out and arrest the old man who was feeding his cow on the grass outside the Guard room. One was not even allowed to walk on the grass.

  5. Bill Runnals says:

    I was serving with the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment in Hong Kong and went to Tangling in 1969 for a 2 week judo course. As a corporal I was pit in charge of the class which consisted of about 50% Australians who were mostly twice my size not thrilled to see me in charge. After a bit of diplomacy on my part all was well – they were great lads.

    Fond memories of Buguis Street, happy days!

    • Benjamin says:

      Yep! Been at Bugis Street with some Aussies. I was with an ACC Corporal GHQ Mess (Army Catering Corps) and his missus with my future and now still my wife in 1969. Night time is the only time good to enjoy the ‘going ons’ But don’t try to look for the same scenery during daylight. You would think you are in another Bugis Street. Nothing you would remember of the night’s layout.

      • Anthony Peter Stutsbury says:

        Hi Benjamin, I was a kiwi soldier there from 1968 to 1970 what is your surname

  6. yue yeong kwan says:

    I worked in the Ministry of Defence in the Dempsey cluster from 1974 to 1976, and again from 1979 to 1981. whilst the buildings were not efficiently functional, the open spaces and matured landscaping made the working environment extremely pleasant. the Tanglin Officers’ Mess situated in an enclave in the Minden area was a really nice place to unwind with duty-free Tiger beer after a hard day’s work and an evening jog. I have very fond memories of Tanglin barrcks.

    • Tan Peng Ann says:

      Hi Yue Yeong, How are you? i was there 1976 to 1978 and again 1986 to 1988. This was Dempsey. Was also at the ‘White House’ for about 2 years. Stayed in the officers mess too. Then also at Loewen Camp for 3 years. Now recalling, I spent almost a good 8 years in the complex. I visited this site to gather some info for my book. Nice to know you visited.

  7. Peter Dunlop author "Street names of Singapore" says:

    Derek, do you remember he swimming pool behind the chapel? I think that there are still remnants of steps leading up from the road

    • I remember the swimming pool and the camp cinema, and the steps that ran up to them from near where our MQ terrace was that looked out over a grassy slope and over the main road out of the city and a corner entrance to the Botanical Gardens. [We also lived for a while in Dempsey and MacPherson Roads] My father was stationed with the R.Sigs at GCHQ. We were in Singapore 1949-52 and I remember [although very young] the Maria Hertogh Riots of late 1950 and into 1951 – we sheltered a young female Eurasian teacher in our MQ until the worst of it had blown over. I remember at one stage my dad coming home with loaded Sten and a .38 revolver. My first school was Tanglin Infants. It was a wonderful part of my life – as was the 3.5 years in Hong Kong in the middle to latter 1950s. Three to four week cruises at the taxpayers expense, and at a time when the Royal Navy still had many ships including cruisers, battleships and aircraft carriers. Oh Lord! My memory banks are giving forth – there is so much more – great days indeed!

      • Douglas Bagnall says:

        Hi Laurence,
        I have searched for many years, looking for anyone who attended Tanglin Infants 1949/51.
        Actually went back a couple of years ago, I am also a member of the old school at Tanglin.
        I have many memories and photos of old Singapore and still have friends out there. Would love to hear from you and anyone else who lived there. We lived on Whitchurch Rd, Wessex Estate, among other places. My father was WO11 Norman Bagnall at the Alexander Hospital/Gillman Barracks.
        Hope this finds you and anyone else who would like to get in touch.
        Douglas Bagnall

      • John Overton. says:

        Hi my name is John Overton, lived in Singapore from 50 to 53 then went to Cyprus, went to Tanglin infants, wore white shirts and white shorts, with a badge on the shirt green background with a palm treee and a tiger and the saying, Manners Maketh man.
        still got my original school reports with the teachers names on them. lived in a big house on which was built on concrete pillars, lots of Chinese familys living under the house

        now live in Poringland , Norwich, Norfolk. dad was a civilan working for the Army.

      • my grandparents live in the house just down from the barracks, my grandfather worked in the office. My mother and I were POWs in Singapore. The Botanical had monkeys . We also lived in the barracks just below the prison,

    • Peter Jennings says:

      Dear Derrick,
      I have just found this site and started reading through and was was interested to see that you had written a book about road names in Singapore. I lived in Singapore as a child 1947-48 and had always been told by my Mother that we lived on Railway Hill. I have never been able to find any reference to Railway Hill, I wondered if you had ever come across this road name.

      Yours sincerely.
      Peter Jennings

      • Alan Rawle says:

        We lived at 9 Railway Hill from 1965 – 1967. It was swallowed up very soon after by the Alexandria Road reconstruction – basically a huge roundabout. Attended Bourne School and the NAAFI was close too.

      • Pat says:

        My dad was in the Royal Engineers stationed in Singapore 1953 to 1957. We lived at 18 Railway Hill. I remember the cinema, the Haw Paw Villa and the Raffles. Lovely childhood memories

  8. BeeLan says:

    anyone know where are the locaiton for black and white colonial houses in Tanglin area?
    i am doing a seminar paper about dempsey and i would like to use some of the pictures above.

  9. Not much has changed at Tanglin Barracks…
    (Tanglin Barracks in the early 20th century)

  10. shrnjnfr says:

    HI, i am doing research for my project related to dempsey hill area.
    i’ve read this article and it was said 9 buildings were used for tanglin barracks long time ago.
    Does anybody knows which building does it refer to?

  11. Fiona says:

    Hello there! Great site! Just wondering if there has been any changes to this place recently? Would love to head down there for a photoshoot one of these days. Cheers!

    • Mark Hamilton-Shimmen says:

      For those who remember and are interested, there use to be a detention barrack there at Dempsey Camp, it was called Tanglin Detention Barrack, Smart Road

      • Laurence Skelton says:

        My father {in 1950-52 a sgt. in the R.Sigs.] was friends with an Australian military police sgt. who I would think was attached there. I have an old B&W photo of him with my father and young me on Changi beach.

      • hi mark i was in their me & a sapper went awol after a binge on mekon whiskey we were with 59sqn royal engineers in thailand, we were that pissed we didn’t know what we were doing ,when we got out we were the fitest soldiers you could get that was 1965-66 at the time i remember two gurka soldiers they had cut the ear of a officer their names were rackam & panther

      • John LOngden says:

        Military Corrective Training Centre (MCTC) Tanglin

  12. Tug Wiilson says:

    Was this place once a military prison, I am sure I was sent here around 1968 for doing a runner from the Royal Navy as a young sailor.

    • you would never forget being in their i felt sorry for the navy lads when we did them forced march’s even in their you got a laugh,at some one ,them cells ,i was in the end one up the stairs think it was 66

      • Gerry Matthews says:

        I was there at the same time I was up the stairs about the middle I was court marshalled in Borneo there were men from the three services and also Ausies and Kiwis from Vietnam we done a eight week training course and then went back to week one you bet we were fit I am R C and went to the chapel on Sunday whith or best gear on and on Monday we had to be ready for Commandants parade

    • Benjamin says:

      Aaaaaaaaaaaaah, Tug Wilson! I do not know when in 1968. But if you had your 4 Square meals a day, better than the Officers Mess, then I was the ration Cpl who fed you. Many sailors sent to MCTC came back after two weeks or so to serve time ‘cos they said the food was better than their ness could offer. Some said it was like staying in a top hotel.

      • Jack says:

        I had a six week “holiday” there for six weeks in 1970 with some RN shipmates. There were the usual squaddies, but also a Gurkha, a couple of Aussie army types out of Nam, and a Kiwi navy guy.
        The meals were called “diet” and were not at all like the grub served up in HMS Terror. I remember the various physical activities such as Murder Ball – rugby played with a medicine ball, PT on the parade ground wearing work gear with boots in the heat and humidity, marching (had to adapt to Army style from RN style), rifle drill with LMGs which we were taught how to take apart and put back together, and the route marches along the country roads. They did trust us with loaded rifles, SLRs at the Bukit TImah range.
        It was hot hot hot and when I came out and went to HMS Terror I was a few pounds lighter and much fitter. But I had almost no hair left after it was clipped off. Had to lose my full beard, too.

    • leonard Dower says:

      Hi Tug my name is Leonard Dower I was sent to Tanglin for 30 days for doing a runner in Aussie when I was on HMS Blake. email …lendower@usa.com

  13. Andreas says:

    Hi All,
    Anyone cares to walk the ground of these featured sites together?
    Thrilled to see these places, would like to capture them using my camera.

    When i say walk the ground, its not just this but also some other sites featured in the blog.
    Drop me a mail if you are keen:

    Thank you.
    Cheers 🙂


  14. Rushh says:

    Hi All, we are doing a documentary film about Tanglin Village history and the way it is being urbanise today. In this thread, I noticed that some of you are there in the past of Tanglin Village. I would be greatly appreciative if I could contact u to have a short interview regarding Tanglin Village.

    Anything you can contact me at rushh05@gmail.com or 83793426 if u are able to be interviewed by us. 🙂 Thank you!

  15. JS Tan says:

    I did my NS here from 2000 to 2002. We vacated in mid-2002 to shift to Nee Soon. Have to say, serving NS here is definitely more enjoyable than anywhere else. But the walk from the bus stop to my camp is crazy!

    • Benjamin says:

      Alahmak! I served as a British Army Local Enlisted Personnel (BALEP) and did my recruiting days in Nee Soon. The walk only took me 3 minutes downhill lah. Unless you wee barracked a mile inland from the main gate.

  16. Jean Westerhout says:

    To whom it may concern

    I have found among my father’s possessions a small wooden plaque
    with a cobra insignia/emblem of a cobra in red, balck and gold trim. Underneath is th name ‘Loewen Road Camp’. I would like to donate it to the museum for the camp if it is of significance.

    I am in Perth Western Australia.

    Jean Westerhout

  17. I don’t think there is any museum to this camp Jean. But I may be wrong, It would be nice to Know if there is.

  18. Simon says:

    Does anyone know if there is an old map showing the layout of the former Tanglin Barracks? I visit the Dempsey precinct quite often and always wonder what purpose all the buildings served in past years.

  19. Laurence Skelton says:

    As a young BritBrat kid I lived for a while in an MQ block on Dempsey Rd.

  20. Jill Faulkner says:

    My dad worked in the barracks in tanglin I went swimming there i belonged to the tanglin otter 64 to 67 visiting singapore in oct hope to visit tanglin

    • harry says:

      yeah,i did too and you could buy heavily buttered toast from a poolside kiosk/cafe sort of thing for 5 cents. did my bronze and silver swimming medals in that pool.and i believe i went to the school there after the nearby kindergarten.harry.

      • asearle00 says:

        I also did my bronze and silver with the Otters.
        I believe we used to call the guy behind the kiosk ‘ Mr Happy ‘.
        He would also sprinkle sugar on the buttered toast if you wanted.
        Many happy memories.

      • Benjamin Lowe says:

        Hi Harry, Actually it was not butter. It was margarine. Although the UK has not banned sales of margarine, it is rare to see it on any retail shelves. Butter is much more popular with shoppers. Some western countries banned margarine sale. I cannot see the reason for not using margarine. In the UK, years gone by, beef tallow or in simile to fat drippings for cooking, was popular among the UK population. In the ’50s and ’60s, I hear from the old and elderly, drippings also use in sandwiches for their school lunch. Margarine is made from beef tallow (drippings) and yellow colourings for attraction. That said, I too had breakfast with margarine spread and sugar sprinkled. My family was so poor, we sometimes ate rice with margarine and nothing else at meal time. My favourite now is Lurpak butter and Lurpak spreadable butter. As a BALEP (British Army Local Enlisted Personnel), in 1968 and then some, I used to go to the Cold Storage supermarket on Orchard Road, not far from C.K. Tang to purchase Anchor Butter (NZ produce). Cold Storage outlet sold produce from NZ and the UK. It was popular with ex-pats, western foreign workers and ANZUK service personnel. I still purchase Anchor butter for cooking purposes and great for making curry dishes.

      • Pauline (Denton then) says:

        I too was in Tanglin Otters 64 to 66. Loved the swimming…apart from the hideous caps we had to wear for synchronised swimming. Anyone remember the guy who sold drinks and food at the pool? He used to shout ‘TOAST’ and all of us kids used to shout it after him.

    • Marina Dodge, Now Kynoch says:

      Our Dad worked in the barracks too then, we lived in Dempsey Road.

    • Pauline Denton says:

      I was in Tanglin otters 1964-1966

      • Anne Steventon ( nee Oliver) says:

        My brother and I were also in the Otters. I did my bronze, silver and gold RSA awards + the lifesaving ones. Still remember using my pyjama bottoms as a float. We had excellent instructors.
        Members from 1966 to 1969

  21. Richard Hale says:

    “The Garrison Church at Tanglin introduced a voluntary service at 5.30pm on the first Sunday of each month. The church was a new building situated a short distance from the Mess house. The church is 100 feet long but 20 feet at each end is taken up by a chancel which is, we think, quite unique and was done in order to admit of its being used for the services of both churches, the congregation facing different ways according to which service is being held. A curtain will be put up to shut in the chancel which is not being used. At one end of the building is the altar of the Roman Catholic Church and at the other the communion table of the Church of England. The building faces north and south. It is built of brick on concrete foundations with a light hammer beam roof covered with shingle and cost about $7.900. The breadth is 30 feet and it has four large gothic windows on each side and four smaller ones on each side of the two chancels. The height to the eaves is 20 feet 6 inches.”

    This article appeared in the Straits Times of 28th February 1885 and may of course indicate the parsimony of the Army authorities who did not wish the expense of two churches. I incline to think that it showed a spirit of co-operation between two branches of the church. It appears that the building still exists, across the sports field from St George’s, and has recently been renovated after years of disuse, now surfacing as the ‘White Rabbit’ restaurant.

    • Joan Cartledge says:

      I met my husband when I was in Tanglin Barracks. We got married in the Catholic church in the barracks on 4th October 1958 and had our reception in the NAAFI. It would be interesting to see pictures of the church as it was back then.

  22. Hi Jean, I was correct There seams to be a Black board rubber around when it comes to any thing history, There is a few FB pages that cover the past for those that do remember.

    • Jean Westerhout says:

      Hi Patric

      The lady who contacted me about the plaque for the research she is doing, has not followed up my request for an address to send the plaque. I have also loss the thread of her reply. Can you help please.


      • Paul Supramaniam says:

        Hello Jean, I have just picked up this thread. I was an NS army officer at Loewen Road Camp in the 1970s. The cobra insignia is for HQ 6 Div. I would be very happy to connect you to the Army museum re your plaque. Best wishes, Paul Supramaniam

  23. Richard Hale says:

    To nitpick, the first paragraph re Tanglin Barracks refers to mid 18th century – it should be mid 19th (1800 – 1899)

  24. used to guard all vehicle depots and base ammunition i can remember doing a stag on tanglin great memories.

  25. Loewen Road Camp, early 1980s

    (Photo Source: Selarang Camp Heritage Room)

    • Tan Peng Ann says:

      My office was right at the right hand ground level. I was there from 1980 to 1983.

    • Aurelia Ang says:


      Do you know if I can use this photo for a publication? If not, may I know where I can go to seek permission for this image?

      You can drop me an email if you need more information. It will be for a heritage brochure we are publishing on behalf of Dempsey Hill, STB and NHB.


    • Richard Abbott says:

      Dad and Mum went to look at a married quarter in Selerang it was close to the square if I remember rightly. They decided not to take it after they found out it was a torture and a interrogation centre for the “Kempei Tai”. Many who went in never came out. I stood at the bottom of a staircase and I have to admit, it did not have a nice feeling to the place.

  26. shirley robey says:

    I was a child living at 13 Dempsey road from 58-61. Went to Tanglin school and remember sneaking up to the barracks and jumping on the soldiers exercise trampolines. I used to get lost their just gazing out across the valley. Great place full of nostalgia for me!

    • I was station in Hong Kong 1959 – 1962 in the APTC and we used to come to the PT School at Tanglin every August for a convention. I can’t remember where the gymnasium was located, maybe you do?

      • Janet says:

        The gym was next to the swimming pool in Tanglin Barracks.

      • Jenny Marsh says:

        Hi Janet My Dad was stationed there at the same time as you and we lived at 25 Dempsey Road- shot in the dark but wonder if you remember my dad- Roy Marsh. I remember the pool where I spent most of my afternoons when school finished (Tanglin Infants then Pasir Panjan) and went to the cinema most Sundays when Mum and Dad were in the Officers Mess. You mentioned the Naffi shop – remember putting my cents in the drinks machine outside – was addicted to the Limeade- and buying Magnolia Chocolate Milk. What a happy childhood I had there.

      • Anthony Peter Stutsbury says:

        Hi Robin. Yes I know where the school of PT was Just across the road from the cricket pitch I have some photos taken around 1969 I will dig them out and see if I can put them on this page

    • Hi Shirley, I live in Brisbane Australia now. I’m 78 and still have fond memories of our time in Tanglin. We used to go down to Bougis St., and sit back and watch all the antics.

      • Hello, Sorry I didn’t see your message as have been moving from London to France. I was only 5 or 6 at the time but it was directly behind our house… the gym was at hte front of the barracks, looking out over the valley towards the government building. I ha2 and thought ve the most wonderful memories of my time there. Arrived in London in 1962 to the smog. How long were you out there?

      • Melanie Weiss (Ward) says:

        oes anyone remember the Parish of the good Shepherd or the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus. My father was captured and sent to the Death Siam Railway project, Mon and I Siam Camp for Women. We live in a few Barracks after the war. My father Robert Ward was a Warden in Changi Prison. Singapore was so very different them. Grandfather and Grandmother lived in Tanglin. I had many friiends who lived in the barrack at Changi, some how lost touch over the years. Moved to England
        now live in Canada

  27. http://www.dempseyhill.com/history.htm

    My parents ran a small shop in Dempsey from 1958 to 1970. My 12 years there left me fond memories.

    A very quiet place with lots of fresh air, Dempsey was very self-contained. The facilities in Dempsey included two churches, a kindergarten, a broadcasting station owned by the Gurkhas, swimming pool, theater, tailor, a few football fields, dancing hall, offices, Commander’s office, tennis court, basket ball court, golf club, landing field for helicopters, post office, POSB bank…you name it. I used to cycle from place to place after I finished my homework.

    My fondest memory was going to the post office to buy first day covers and saving $10 a month given by my brother. As I was one of the youngest living in Dempsey, the British soldiers doted on me. They gave me presents — big colourful books, chocolates, pencils, and so on. I was so thrilled to receive these presents; as an average Singaporean family then, we were far from being well off.
    Some houses were built for the British soldiers and their families, some were built for bachelors. A British family built a tree house on one of the big trees. In the evening, I would climb to the tree house and read my story books. I did not have many story books then, so I ended up reading my second brother’s Chinese books. As a result my command of the Chinese language was fantastic. My brother was in Pre-University, I was about nine years old.

    The British lived very well in Dempsey. They celebrated Christmas and Easter in a very big way. The British fancied cooking their food with butter. We could smell butter wafting from the kitchen all day. I should know. My uncle, who is still alive, was their favourite chef. Naturally, I had my fair share of tasty English food like roast turkey, roast potatoes and lamb chop.

    Dempsey. It’s so special to me. I will always cherish the memories.

    By Gina Ho

  28. Larry Skelton says:

    Robin, I was too young when I was in Singapore/Dempsey Road to understand about all those ‘Boogey Street’ goings on! Innocent I was at that time – seems so long ago, heck it was!

  29. harry says:

    Is this place is open space? Can go for outdoor photo shoot?

    • I think they will open up the barracks for annual events such as the Singapore Biennale. Otherwise, it’s a restricted place out of bounds to the public.

      Those houses along the road, though, are not bounded by fences or anything.

  30. Jenny Grover (Marsh) says:

    Lived at 25 Dempsey Road Tanglin 1964-66. My father was Roy Marsh. Went to Tanglin Infants then Pasir Panjan Juniors. Remember Magnolia Milk, Green Johnny who delivered fruit and Mr Hupp who delivered groceries. Also going swimming and to The Sampan Cinema. Sunday lunchtimes were spent at The Mess or Brit Club.

    • Aurelia Ang says:

      Hi Jenny

      Do you know where the Sampan Cinema was located? From the other comments on this thread, it seems like the cinema was along Harding Road (previously known as Barrack Road); but other than that, I can’t seem to locate the spot. 😦

      • Jenny Marsh says:

        Hi Sorry was too young to remember exact location – was walked there from the Sgt Mess on a Sunday, with the other kids whilst our parents had lunch in peace.

      • Larry Skelton says:

        Much like Jenny, I too was very young when I went to the ‘Sampan’, way back in 1950-52. Our Indian servant would take my kid brother and myself, as did our parents. I recall seeing a B&W version of ‘The Three Musketeers’ there.

      • It was definitely along Barrack Road… you went up from Dempsey Road, past the barracks and the Naffi and it was just up there. I remember going to the cinema and losing my Mum’s engagement ring in the dark!

      • Janet says:

        The Sampan Cinema was on the opposite side of the road from the NAAFI and not to far from main guard room on Tanglin Barracks.

    • Diana Mendham (was Dee) says:

      I lived at 25 Dempsey Road, Tanglin from 1968 to 1971. My dad, RSM Ivor Dee, was stationed there. My brothers and I all swam for The Tanglin Otters. I went to Alexandra Junior School. Wonderful memories.

      • Jenny Marsh says:

        Oh wow that’s a great coincidence – I went to Tanglin Infants then Pasir Panjan Juniors – In my memory from childhood the house was large with ceiling fans in all the rooms – a separate lounge and dining room with a long kitchen leading out to the verandah. In the garden was a separate block for washing/ironing where our Armah lived. Upstairs I think it had 2 large bedrooms with 2 small ones leading off (may be wrong on that as I’ve lived in so many houses since!)
        Don’t suppose you found the strange Xmas tree we left behind – it was left from the previous occupants to us – it was really skinny with red berries on and covered in Angel Hair (fibreglass) which effected our skin and made us all itch well into January – funny the things you remember. Have so many memories

      • Alison says:

        Hi Diane yes I do remember the ice cream man as he used to give a lift to my house and then I used to buy an ice cream. I cannot remember where I lived but I know it was not far from the tennis courts and the sergeants mess facing the main road, if anyone can help. I uses to stay for ballet at school then gave it up for swimming. We used to have a pet monkey called Charlie. I remember sitting on the side if the stage when Aker Bilk came to play for the troops. My dad’s name was McLean and my mum also used to work on the camp. I remember that I had to have a cholorie injection for my birthday then went swimming.

      • Benjamin says:

        LOL! I was the Ration Accounts Cpl (LEP) at the Military Corrective Training Centre opposite the Civilian Pay Office from 1968 to 1971. I could not recall the MPSC RSM’s name at the MCTC from 1969 to 1971. He lived in married quarters along the road where the Naafi was or near it (if I recall). I collected the dry and wet rations from RCT Alexander Barracks?? for the Women Royal Army Corps. I married a WRAC cook CPL in Malacca and she is still putting up with my antics today. My wife’s CO, a colonel, was invited to the venue and she came along. I flew to the UK in July 1971 just a month before my end of term and when the British Army started their withdrawal from Singapore.

      • Jennifer Grover (Marsh) says:

        Hi Benjamin I too lived at 25 Dempsey Road from 1964 – 1966. Would love to hear if your memories of the house are the same as mine. I went to Tanglin Infants then Pasir Panjan Junior School. My sister went to Alexander School and we both swam for Otters too. Such brilliant memories!

    • Christine Pratt says:

      HI Jenny, I went to Pasir Panjang school at the same time as you. I was aged between 8 and 10yrs. Your postings bring back the same memories for me. Guess what, I am in touch with Bill Johnston, our old recorder teacher. I am seeing him in a couple of weeks. We lived on Wessex Estate and I too remember Sunday’s spent at the officers Mess and Blackamatti Island. My name then was Christine Harral. I was in Ms Heron’s class. Bill is in touch with some of the teachers from the mid 60’s today. email me if this rings bells. christine.pratt@ntlworld.com (I live in Swindon, Wiltshire today).

      • Andy Searle says:

        Hi Christine, I too was in the Tanglin Otters club, also Tanglin Tigers football club, we were there from 1966 to 1969, I think we lived on Harding Road, I remember going to Alexander school, my dad was a seargeant in the Royal Engineers and was actually stationed on Blackamatti, had some great picnics on there. I am going over to stay in Jahore for a month and plan many a trip over to Singapore. So many fond memories.

  31. Russell Tan says:

    Hey does anyone know if any of these colonial buildings are still around but not maintained? I’m doing an indie film for my project and I would really love the backdrop and ambience of an abandoned colonial building and it’s presence in my film. Best if there is not blocked off or under surveillance. Please do get back to me. Thanks 🙂

  32. Tan Peng Ann says:

    I have great memories of this camp. The Central Manpower Base of the Singpore Ministry of Defence was shifted there from Kallang Camp. I was the Commanding Officer of the Control of Personnel Centre occupying Blocks 6 and 7. That was 1976. I was in block 13 in 1986 and my department was shifted to the Cable car towers. Loenen Road Camp used to house the Singapore 9th Division. I was then there as the Division G1 in 1980. Those were the days.

    • Paul Supramaniam says:

      I too have great memories of Loewen Road Camp. I was there when it was HQ RI and again at the time of the formation of HQ 9 Division. Do you remember Charlie Chew/Keesavan Soon from the time of HQ RI ? Would be great to connect to swap notes.

  33. Laurence Skelton says:

    Hi Douglas,
    I currently live a few miles south of you in Sheffield. You say that your dad was at the Alexander Hospital – my mother as a patient experienced a ‘ghostly’ incident while there. According to a nurse they were common place and connected to the wounded and staff killed there at the beginning of the Japanese occupation. Do you remember the Maria Hertogh riots? Did you like me have a cobra slither over one of your bare feet, or play with a scorpion, thinking it was just a funny looking beetle? Ah, the days of youthful naivety, I was about 5 at the time.

    • Douglas Bagnall says:

      So good to hear from you Laurence and yes, I do remember the riots and also the raids on our local NAAFI, they still came down from the north in those days.
      Lots of memories, do you remember the lizards, if you touched the tail it fell off?
      I had my seventh birthday at Gillman, my father ran the catering at Alexander Hospital, could your mother have eaten some of his food, I wonder, still a small world.
      Would like to send some photos but not sure how to, any ideas?

      • jenny Marsh says:

        Hi I too spent my 7th birthday at The Barracks and clearly remember the chit-chat lizards that shed their tails. The first night we arrived in Singapore we stayed at the Seven Storeys Hotel and the chit chats were crawling over the walls in our room and my mum, sister and I were screaming our heads off and my dad tried to knock them down by throwing a cigarette packet at them. After a short time we lived quite happily with them in our house – amazing what you get used to!
        Jenny Marsh

      • Tan DingXiang says:

        Hi Douglas, I am from Alexandra Hospital, the former BMH Singapore. We’d like to get in touch with vets and Brit brats like yourself, to learn more about how life was like in here. Do let us know how we could get in touch!

  34. Diana Mendham says:

    Hi Jenny the house as you describe it is just how I remember it. I don’t recall the Christmas tree though but I was 8 when we first moved in. I remember the chit chats and the season of flying beetles in the house. I also recall a man called Teo (I think) who sold ice cream from the back of his motorcycle. Happy days. D

    Diana Mendham

    • Douglas Bagnall says:

      I wonder if this was the same guy who used an upside down plane to shave ice and add juice to make ice balls?
      I have sent some photos to be added.
      Douglas Bagnall

      • Benjamin Lowe says:

        Weeeeeeeeeeel! You are talking about the RAF service personnel in the WW2 days. They sure come up with fantasy stories. I was working as a Warehouseman at Rosyth Navy Dockyard. A Surveyor of Stores grade civilian ex-RAF on his round usually come up with some fantasy flying stories. The regular one was, how his plane had to fly upside down to England to conserve fuel when the gauge displayed there was not enough fuel to reach the Dover Coast.

  35. Laurence Skelton says:

    I too remember the small ‘chit-chat’ gecko lizards, but wasn’t frightened of them, indeed saw them as ‘friends’ that helped to keep down the mozzie population. Did any of you get to see those massive ‘Moon’ moths? The second biggest in the world to the Atlas moth I believe. My kid brother got bitten by a grumpy old male monkey, got too ‘face to face with it while offering a peanut in the Botanical Gardens. He also ended up covered in those red ‘bully ants’ while crawling through some grass playing war games of some sort.

    I remember those 10 tonner Matadors that used to run us out to places such as Changi beach, and the desert island day out we had courtesy of some fast launches – and the beautiful clear water.

    • Laurence Skelton says:

      Diana – I have a photo of the living room of ‘our’ MQ in Tanglin Barracks – obviously around Christmas time as there is a lit up tree between the doors to the kitchen and the doors to the ‘box room’.

  36. Laurence Skelton says:

    Oh, did any of you go out to Singapore [or Hong Kong] on the Orduna, Empire Fowey, Asturias or Nevasa? I remember seeing the swastika symbols on the anchors of the Empire Fowey – it was a ‘war reparations’ ship taken from the Germans. Later, while in the process of being scrapped the Asturias [tarted up] featured in the Titanic film ‘A Night to Remember’.

    • Diana Mendham says:

      Laurence – sadly I don’t recall that we have any photos of the house but I will have a look through to see as I have my parents photos. I don’t remember the ice balls Douglas, but Teo seemed quite elderly, probably weathered, but as a kid I thought he was quite old. We had weekly deliveries on a Sunday, I think, of comics, and a van came round selling “egg bread” which was yummy! I also remember monkeys getting onto the camp from the botanical gardens.

    • Sue Maycock says:

      I went to Penang from Singapore on the Nevasa. Travelled from UK to Singapore on the Dilwara in Jan 1958. My father travelled on the Empire Fowey and said she rolled like a bucket.

    • Sue Brooks says:

      In 1952 I traveled out on the Empire Fowey at the age of 5. I remember the ship getting stuck on a sand-bank in the Suez Canal and all the kids on board were told to go and jump up and down at the side of the ship to float her off…can’t think why it didn’t work and they had to tow us off instead.

    • Peter Jennings says:

      Dear Laurence,
      I travelled to Singapore on the HMS Orduna with my Mother in 1947, my Mother told me I learnt to walk while on the trip but unfortunately fell down some iron steps and still have the scar to this day above my right eye.
      I have a picture of the Orduna looking a bit worse for wear, but don’t know how to paste it on this reply.

      Yours sincerely,
      Peter Jennings

    • Richard Abbott says:

      We went out to Singapore for the second time on the Empire Fowey.

  37. Douglas Bagnall says:

    Laurence, we sailed to Singapore on the SS Orduna and came home on the Empress of Australia.
    I have sent some photos to be shown on this site.

    • Christine Pratt says:

      Hi Douglas, I think we lived in that same house in Whitchurch Rd in 1966- 1968. It was No.23 Whitchurch Road with an Armah shed at the front, lots of steps leading to the road and at the back, (as pictured) the balcony overlooked the railway and across the dip to Queens Town and the 24 storey flats that seemed like giants.
      I visited a couple of years ago and the house is still standing. As is Pasir Panjang School. I am in touch with Mr Johnson, my old recorder teacher.
      My name then was Christine Harral – My father was Rex James Harral and my mother ran the Wessex Estate Kindergarden.
      Hey Ho. Happy Days ! Christine. http://www.christine.pratt@ntlworld.com.

      • Douglas bagnall says:

        Hi Christine,

        Attached a couple of photos taken at no 23.

        Very nice to hear from you, I have lots of happy memories of Whitchurch road.

        I was only seven when we lived there in 1950 so to return in 2005 with my wife was quite emotional.

        Fortunately we still have many lovely Singaporean friends from that time who look after us on our return.

        Nice to know you lived in the same house as us, still have more photos of our time in Singapore.

        Google Earth have a new Map and you can browse street view images at the back of our house on Whitchurch Road now.

        Kind Regards

        Doug Bagnall


        Ps couldn’t` find your photos?

      • it was nice to see my old home i also lived at 23 whitchurch road but that was in 1971.i l 10 .and left when i was nearly 13. i loved it there of down the back and over the grass to sandies soliders home .and the indian temple across the back when they had a festival you could hear their celebrations as clear as a bell .just loved my time there

  38. Thanks to Mr Douglas Bagnall who has contributed his old photos:

    Our home at Whitechurch Road, Wessex Estate 1949-1951

    Me standing on same stretch of Changi beach 1950 & 2006

    Came on SS Orduna, returned on Empress of Australia

    My 7th birthday in front of house at Gillman above NAAFI shop, name not known

    • Tony Robertson says:

      Can anyone remember the name of the road these houses were on? We lived there in 1964 in the end house above the naafi

  39. Laurence Skelton says:

    Doug, if the voyage on the Orduna included ploughing through a tropical storm, it is more than possible you were on the same trip out as me. My mother was sea sick for most of the voyage.
    If that is you in the centre of the birthday shot it gave me an eerie ‘deja vu’ moment – as you were the spitting image of me around that age! By the time I was 7 years old we were back in Catterick. Two years later we were on the Asturias bound for Hong Kong.

  40. Douglas Bagnall says:

    Hi Diana,
    It must have been the same voyage, it is not too clear but I remember being scared.
    and yes that is me in the centre of the photo. Fond memories.
    I have been very fortunate in keeping friends, all these years, with the people who ran the local `Q Cat` café and shop, if anyone can recall it?
    Our house on Wessex Estate overlooked the valley up toward Sandes Soldiers Home (I have a photo from then, it is now the Temasek Club) where our lads rested from their injuries and we could hear the piano and hymn singing on Sundays very clearly from our house. the railway line was also close by and we would wave to the lads on board.
    Kind Regards
    Douglas Bagnall

  41. Douglas Bagnall says:

    Hi Laurence,
    Sorry about the name mix up, so nice to contact every one I get carried away.
    Douglas Bagnall

  42. More photos contributed by Mr Douglas Bagnall!

    Mother and me, I was told our boys where shot here by the invaders during war, any ideas

    At home with our house helper at Whitchurch Road Wessex Estate

    Overlooking railway from our house, taking our boys up to Johor Bahru

    Sandes Soldiers Home, seen from our home on Whitchurch Road.

    • Frances says:

      Hello, was this the view from Whitchurch Rd, Wessex Estate Singapore ?

      • Douglas Bagnall says:

        Hi Frances,
        Yes, this was the view in 1950, from what we called the front of 23, Whitchurch Road.
        It was a great place to play as a seven year old but it got me into bother because at that time snakes still enjoyed the area. To the right of the photo of me on my bike and left of Sandes home was what we would now call a smallholding, really lovely people lived in a traditional house and would make me very welcome.
        Doug Bagnall

    • Rachel Ng says:

      Hi Doug,

      I’m working on a community project, JalanJalan, with some of my friends. We’re creating a mobile app which helps users discover the stories behind different places in Singapore: https://www.facebook.com/jalanjalansg . We came across your pictures of Wessex Estate and we we were hoping to use some of your images. We would like to seek your permission to use the images and will credit you accordingly. Would you be alright with us sharing the photographs you’ve used?

      If you’d like to find out more about our app, feel free to ask us about it. Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks!

      • Doug Bagnall says:

        Hi Rachel, yes go ahead and use them, if you require anymore photos (1949/51) let me know.
        I will send you a list of what I have. Doug Bagnall

  43. Douglas Bagnall says:

    Also of interest? I still have a tie and hat from the Singapore Cricket Club 1950, must have been my fathers, but not certain.
    Douglas Bagnall

    • Sherry says:

      Hi Douglas,

      I am currently doing a web video series with DSTA, to find out about past army camps in Singapore which have now been transformed into contemporary buildings/infrastructure.

      I was wondering if I could contact you to find out more about some of the camps (esp. Slim Barracks which was around the Whitchurch Road area?, perhaps Tanglin Barracks if you would know of any information?)

      I’d love to hear from you!

      Thank you.

  44. Laurence Skelton says:

    Do any of you old time BritBrats remember the night sounds, including the randy bullfrogs in the mating season? I remember going into one of the pillboxes on the edge Of Changi beach and as my eyes adjusted to the gloom I realised I was on close eyeball level with a massive one.
    Did any of you get to tap latex, like I did, or pick mutmeg, rambutans or lychees, mangoes or bananas?

    Did any of you see the late marque Spitfires being armed up to have a go at Communist insurgents – more likely to disturb the jungle foliage a bit. I also remember Lincoln bombers, Mosquitoes, Bristol Brigands [affectionately referred to as ‘bucking bast*rds’ by the crews] – also Fairy Fireflies that would fly in from visiting aircraft carriers.

    • Douglas Bagnall says:

      Hi Laurence,
      My memory isn’t as good as it used to be, so to be reminded of the many things you mention is truly heart warming.
      I do remember trees being cut for the latex and on our recent return visit my wife became seriously addicted to lychees, so much so we now buy fresh ones, when we can, over here.
      Just going through my old photos, me in a sampan off Changi beach, my sister working at the Alexander telephone exchange, inside the Alexandra hospital and also and looking at treasured possessions such as a Singapore cricket club hat and tie from 1950.
      We also had a monkey tied up in the back of the house, but it was very tame.
      Do you know I can still smell the kerosene burner used for cooking at the back of our house
      Douglas Bagnall

      • Hi Laurence, I too had a monkey in the back yard, this is when lived in Changi barracks, just below the prison. Singapore so very different in the late 1930s and 40s. War broke out when I was born 1941, my mother and I (only 6 months old) were sent to a Jap POW camp with lots of womens. My father work in Changi jail. his mane was Robert Ward, and my mother was Olga Ward (Desousa) my name then was Melanie. Went to the Good Shepard in downtown Singpaore. There was always an arm guard on our bus, still remember all the rubber trees. My Aunt lived on Beach Rd. loved hear from anyone who remembers living in old Singapore. Love eating thoses salty sour plums, still buy then.

  45. Jenny Marsh says:

    Another vivid memory I have is Xmas 1964 – curfew/problems in Singapore at that time – and my mum and dad had put up the decorations and balloons in the house (Dempsey Rd) and in the night with the humidity and heat the balloons started popping and the next thing we knew a few soldiers with guns burst into the house thinking we were under attack. Rather embarrassing to say the least and certainly no more balloons that year!

  46. Diana Mendham says:

    Oh my goodness, yes I can also remember the things mentioned. Rambutans!! Just loved them. Do you remember walking along Orchard Road at night time with street vendors displaying their wares on the pavement and the scent of spices in the warm night air. I remember Tiger Balm Gardens and being frightened there because of the torture exhibits. I was too young for Bougi Street but my parents enjoyed it.

    • Melanie Weiss (Ward) says:

      My Aunty lived on Orchard Road, I do remember the smell of the foods, and my mother stopping to buy satay on our way home to change.

      • Sue Maycock says:

        We also bought satay at one of the stalls on the Clementi Road market. Still remember the smell and hiss of the kerosene lamps used to see what they were selling.

  47. Laurence Skelton says:

    Diana – The torture exhibits were ‘depictions’ of the Chinese idea of Hell. There was a similar display in the Tiger Balm gardens in Hong Kong. I do indeed remember many of the sights and smells. Some nights were so warm and humid that the sweat poured off me, and sleeping was restless and the bed felt more like a warm bath.

    My dad was on duty at GCHQ when news came through [6th. Oct 1951] that High Commissioner Sir Henry Gurney had been ambushed and shot dead on the way to a meeting at Frazier’s Hill, Malaya. He was the one who then informed Whitehall. Their reaction was to beef up the numbers of SAS and send in the ‘Virgin Soldiers’.

  48. Laurence Skelton says:

    Oh, Jenny, the first night in Singapore, and for the next few weeks, including our first Christmas, were spent in the Eastern Hotel on MacPherson Road – I believe it has been extensively re-built since. Their food was good, and I remember a bomb site next door – or was it just behind? We used to have an old B&W photo of my kid brother and myself on that site, in ‘conductors’ outfits’ we got as Christmas prezzies.

  49. Patricia AlexanderNee Hay says:

    I sspent , in two tours, 5 very happy years in Singapore firstly as a member of the WRAC then married and lived in quarters in Barker Rd, then Bann Guan Park then Wessex estate. We`were married in The Church of Christ the King in Tangln in july 61. I vividly remeber the Sampan Cinema and the Pheonix Club across the road. Behind was the swimming pool, We had our wedding reception in the Brittania club which was across from the Raffles Hotel, Would love to swap memories with anyone who was there at the same time…Regards Pat Alexander..nee Hay

    • Morag (Mandy) McHardy says:

      Hi! I came across this page by accident. I was in the WRAC at Tanglin Barracks from 65-68. I’m almost 70 years old and this old memory of mine is not what it used to be. Going through all these posts though is really bringing back some memories! I remember the open air food stalls where we would eat Satay and drink beer!! Those were the days!

      • Lesley Annable says:

        I also was in the WRAC at Tanglin Barracks from 1965 to 1967, lucky you being able to stay for 3 years. I actually joined up in Singapore. A great time and still in contact with other girls whom were stationed there

      • Linda Beaton says:

        I was also in Singapore at Tanglin Barracks from 1965 to 67 and know Lesley Annable, she was one of my pals and it has been lovely being back in touch with her and other pals again. Your name (Mandy) rings a bell. Wonderful treasured memories.

      • Sue Brooks says:

        Hello Morag. I was in the same place as you 66-67. I was in Provost at the time and my name was Fisher then…a time when I felt too young and inexperienced to arrest anyone! Times change and so do we all. Do you remember Mount Faber? The view was wonderful at night…like jewels spread on velvet. The satay was to remember forever.

    • Janet Burrows nee Brown says:

      Morning Patricia (from just outside Canberra.

      I was stationed with 4 Independent Coy WRAC in Tanglin Barracks from June 1962 until 10 February 1964 when I left the WRAC on marriage. My husband was an MP first with 200 Provost Coy then with 99 Gurkha Provost Coy.

      Our marriage took place at Fort Canning Registry Office. We lived in a block of apartments on Orchard Road which were situated across from the bowling alley. Lived there for 18 months. The posted back to the UK. We were again posted to Singapore in 1967-1969 and lived first in Casurina Road Sembawang Hills Estate the went to live at 8B The Loop Nee Soon Garrison. Wonderful days.

      • Pat Alexander says:

        Hi Janet…..just saw your post…Isn’t this a great site!!! I live on Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire now…have three children eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren…such great memories of Singapore the Cameron Highlands and Penang.

      • Douglas McCrae says:

        Hi Janet and everyone…..I am Pats son And I have great memories of my childhood there and I was just browsing this site so imagine the shock of sering a post from my mother!

        Sadly she is no longer with us, all the smoking back in the 1960s finally caught up with her September 2020!

        I remember Living in Greenleaf view and normanton estate, Sandes soldiers home, wessex infants school etc.
        Blackan matti ( forgive the spelling) is now Sentosa and a lot more easy to access than the sampans of our generation

    • Art Poole says:

      Hi I done my national Service 1955/57at Tangling Barracks with RASC.Great nights out with the lads at Union Jack and the Britannia Club.Had many meals in the Stamford Cafe.Going on holiday for 4days in January ,hope to visit old haunts if I can remember where they are

  50. Laurence Skelton says:

    Hi, John Overton, your name seems to ring vague memory bells for me. Not sure whether it is you, or perhaps someone else of the same name. Dear Lord, where have all the years gone; it seems like it was another world. The world population was less than half that of today.

  51. Tom Atkins says:

    Tom.Atkins 7186@facebook.com I remember Tanglin Bks 1963/64

  52. Tony McAuley says:

    Hi, does anyone have any idea who Dempsey was and what he did to deserve having the place named after him? Dempsey is a Dublin name so likely serving in the British Army. As a Dempsey descendant I am extremely curious. I am also planning to be in Singapore in a month’s time so would be very keento visit the area.

  53. Laurence Skelton says:

    General Sir Miles Christopher Dempsey GBE, KCB, DSO, MC, was indeed in the British Army, and he also had service links with Malaya.

  54. chiara zuber says:

    hello I would like to know if the place is open for public or is it private property?

  55. HI All
    I just ran into this page when searching military bases in Singapore, my father George Harris was stationed in Singapore and I was born there in 1951, I was a twin and my brother unfortunately passed away when he was 9 days old complications with intestines, a common problem nowadays where survival rates are high. My Father was a WO1 in Royal Signals he was a quartermaster, my mother Violet Harris was out there with him, they had lots of us kids, Irene,Joan, George, Margaret, Dennis all born in England then us Twins born in Singapore.I am trying to find out where they lived, sadly they have both passed away, I have photo’s which I can put on here. would be great if anyone remembers them. I am going to Singapore in September and it would be great to track down some of the places we stayed. I have the hospital we were I was born and the cemetery my brother is in so thats 2 places I will be visiting for sure.
    Many Thanks

    • Mark Hamilton-Shimmen says:

      Hi Richard,
      The hospital (Military) is probably Alexandra Hospital which is now a civilian hospital (Junction of Queensway & Alexandra Road) and if I can remember correctly, if your twin was buried in a cemetery dedicated to military families, the graves were all exhumed and are currently at a civilian plot at the War Graves (Kranji, CWGC). Names and burials information are available with the Cemetery Office on site. If he was buried at Bidadari Cemetery, Serangoon Road, those were all exhumed as well, Name list is probably still available with the Housing & Development Board (Singapore).

      • HI Mark
        Yes my brother was exhumed and moved to Kranji some time in the 60’s, this was when the airport was rebuilt, so I think the original grave would have been near Changi. I am trying to find out where we lived, I am going through all the paperwork I have of my father’s to see if somewhere there is an address in Singapore, but no luck yet. He was in Royal Signals, a SQMS and was with FARELF ? but where exactly stationed I am not sure.
        I will keep searching prior to our visit to Singapore in September

      • Richard says:

        After more searching found my fathers service book.
        My parents first stayed in Eastern Hotel, Tyrwhitt Road 24 sept 1949. this has been built up and after ‘walking’ down this road on google, it looks like the hotel is no longer there the road is.
        Also found an entry….27 June 1950 moved to 28c Wessex Estate Alexandra. no road name, was there road names then or did each block just have numbers.
        Any help would be very much welcomed

    • A C B Jones says:

      Richard Harris. I’m sure that by now someone will have answered your questions, but if not here goes. In 1954 GHQ Signal Regt was based in Tyersall Park Camp just up the road and on the opposite side from Tanglin Barracks (where the GHQ Signal Centre was). There were two entrances, the main one in Cluny Road opp. the Botanical Gardens, the other further along Holland Road. However, there was also Singapore District Signal Regt that was based In St Mary’s Barracks on the edge of the Pasir Panjang Estate, much further along Holland Road, past Holland Village. DistSigs built themselves a golf course which became very popular. Hope this is of interest. Clive Jones.

      • richardharriscanveyisland says:

        Thanks for that. I still havent found any photos of the cemetery yet there are plenty of photos of the other cemetery’s in Singapore, very strange !!
        Will keep looking

      • Brian Phillips says:

        I served N/S 1951/52 with S’Pore Dist Sig Regt at Calcutta Camp Pasir Panjang (Lion and Palm Tree shoulder badge) During this time the Princes Mary barracks was being built. Our camp was tented and off of the beaten track not far from BMH Alexandra. hospital. We were ferried to Fort Canning on teleprinter duty each day. There was a tragic event in the camp when a young L/cpl was accidently shot dead when some one played about with a revolver. He was buried in the cemetery behind the camp and later interned at Kranji. From Sgmn B Phillips 22442400. . (Retired)

  56. Ian Ng Song Yuan says:

    Tangling Barracks has Changed into St James Church Kindergarten and all the restaurants. Sadly, the government want to take back the land where the kindergarten is sitting on. It looks so creepy in the olden days… Now very modern, but the government wants to take this school back. They now have one new campus, Leedon.

  57. Laurence Skelton says:

    Yes, Ian, time moves on. So much of my childhood has changed [and not just in Singapore and Malaya], but thankfully [at the moment at least], I still retain my memories. Including those of the local people. In the end it is people that are more important than places – even Tanglin [BFES] Infant School.

  58. Alison Barringer says:

    Hi Diana I was in Singapore from 1967 to 1969 and was in the otters and also went to Alexander junior school many happy memories

    • Diana says:

      Hi Alison, good to hear from someone who was there about the same time as me. I started Alexandra School in 1968 (aged about 8/9). I find it hard to remember names of teachers etc., due to the numerous schools I went to but do remember a lady teacher who always wore her hair in a high bun. Do you remember her? Did you live on the camp at Tanglin – I lived in Demspey Road. Very happy days, sad to know that so much of it has been knocked down, especially the school. Do you remember Teo the ice cream man on his motorcycle he was often at the swimming pool? As you say, many happy memories.

      • Yes, I remember him and I remember loosing my 5 cents so as I was looking for it a man gave me 5 cents to buy an ice cream and then got it back off my Dad later. 5 cents must have been a lot of money then. We lived in Dempsey Road near the Guard room.

      • Anne Steventon says:

        Hello Diana and Alison
        I think we myst have been in the same class as I also had the teacher with the high hair bun. I’ll have to dig out my school report to check her name. I remember the twins Penelope and Victoria, Philippa, Andrew and Helen Pollard. When it was sports day, we had to compete in 4s for the running race which always left the last two in the alphabet to run against each other-me and Helen- and she always won!
        I also was a regular at the Otters and got all my swimming and lifesaving badges there.
        Very happy memories from 1966 to 1969
        Anne Oliver

  59. Laurence Skelton says:

    Richard – Regrettably, very little stays the same, of such is the march of ‘progress’. You say your parents were at the Eastern Hotel, Sept. 1949 – well my parents, my brother and myself were also there around that time – until around the New Year [1950]. It is very probable that we ate in the same dining room as they did, and your parents and my parents could well have chatted together. I remember that the chicken, sliced runner beans and chips were very nicely cooked.

    • Richard says:

      Laurence – HI, If you were there at the same time as my parents, there’s a chance you may remember a rather large family, 3 girls and 2 boys, the youngest my brother being around 7 and the others gradually getting older.I came along in April 1951. Can you remember what end of Tyrwhitt Road the Eastern Hotel was? I will be having a walk down that road in September just to be in places where my parents were when they were in Singapore.
      The 28c Wessex Estate has got me stumped, I think my father forgot to write the road when he put this address in his service book. Unless anyone can remember a rather large family moving in next door to them in June 1950.
      Just a long shot

  60. Richard says:

    This picture is of my brothers and sisters, the two lads in front on left and middle I assume are friends of my brothers, anyone see themselves?

    This picture is from my dads driving licence issued in singapore

    And this my mum holding little old me

    Anyone recognise the people in these photo’s ?

  61. Richard says:

    This is getting really difficult. When I think of ways to find out where we lived I thought easy just look on my birth cert, gives address of the informant of birth, bound to be my mum or dad, NO the informant was the CO of GCHQ, how did that happen? Also place of birth says BMH Singapore, so was that Alexandra Hospital or Changi ? I thought the military in those days where absolutely meticulous about everything, seems not on this occasion. As we lived on Wessex Estate as per my fathers service record book can I assume we, my twin and I, were born in the nearest hospital to where my parents lived, that would be Alexandra Hospital ? My brother never left Hospital and passed away 8 days later he was originally buried in a cemetery in Changi, now in Kranji, the mind boggles

    • Sue Maycock says:

      BMH Singapore was the Alexandra Hospital. We lived in Pasir Panjang and that is where my brother was taken when he was very poorly.

  62. Laurence Skelton says:

    Richard – I was 4 going 5 when at the Eastern Hotel. I don’t remember that much about the hotel, except that there was a bomb site either next door to it or more likely just behind.

    BUT, dear Lord, shades of déjà vu regarding the photo of your brothers and sisters – and friends!
    Unless we have exact doppelgängers of the time and place, the lad at the front left is ME, and the younger lad front centre [beside me] IS MY KID BROTHER, Brendan.

    Your father’s image seems to ring a dull bell in the windmills of my mind.

    I will try to get a photo or three on this site in the coming weeks, including one that shows my brother and myself.

  63. Richard says:

    Laurence – WOW, a million to one chance that would happen, I can’t believe it, when we were younger we always asked who the two boys were and we told friends thats all !!
    OK, lets see how good your memory is 🙂 what road did we live in, I am assuming we must have lived very close to each other, in my fathers service book it just says 28c wessex estate, I assume this was Whitchurch Road, or do you know different? I don’t have many photo’s of Singapore, when my parents passed away, they rest of brothers and sisters shared them out amongst their selves as I was serving in the army myself at the time and was away, but slowly got a couple over the years.

    Anyway take care, I still can’t believe it !!!!
    have you looked at this site :- http://lionraw.com/2013/03/15/white-bungalows-at-wessex-estate/
    Just a little about Wessex Estate may remind you of something


    • Laurence Skelton says:

      The only places we lived at while in Singapore, apart from the Eastern Hotel, on MacPherson and Dempsey Roads and finally in a verandered MQ that was near a barrack entrance and over the main city road from a corner entrance to the Botanical Gardens.
      I don’t remember any house numbers, or recall the Wessex Estate.

  64. Richard says:

    Yes thinking about it, you were very young so probably wasn’t thinking about things like roads etc, I have looked on Google maps and Dempsey Road is across a main road from the Botanical Gardens, could this be what your thinking? So, the picture you and your brother are in, is that your house or our house I wonder? Did you go to school out there? maybe my youngest brother went to the same school, I think he would have been around 5 or 6.
    I have a couple more pictures of my brothers and sisters in a park so will put them on here as I would love to trace the area when we go in September and have a picture or two taken in the same spot. Also have a picture of my dad with a football team, my dad looks like he was the goal keeper, problem is not sure if it was taken in Singapore or Egypt, I think it was Singapore.
    Are you in the UK ?

  65. Laurence Skelton says:

    Richard – I live in Sheffield – I’ve spotted that you live in the London area.
    I first went to a kindergarten in Tanglin and then went to Tanglin Infants. The kindergarten was not far from the barrack gate I mentioned [as were a couple of MQs – all three raised a bit on stilts if I recall correctly. Dempsey Road is near the Botanical Gardens, but it doesn’t correlate with me being able to see the corner entrance from the front of the verandered terrace of MQ houses that was our last Singapore residence. I think the white house in the background of the group photo is more likely ‘yours’.

    ps. It is possible I played marbles in the school yard with your youngest brother. He might even have been in my class. I wonder if he remembers the plentiful and cool choice of milk, chocolate milk and orange juice [fresh not from concentrate]? Does he remember placing his head on his folded arms [on his desk] during the daily quiet time for us younger ones?

    pps. How do I transfer images from my flickr site to here?

  66. Christine (nee Harral) Pratt says:

    Wonderful! So wonderful to read these postings.
    I lived at No.23 Wessex Estatae Singapore 5 and went to Pasir Panjang, (changed to Wessex School) and then Bourne School. This was in 1965/6/7 I remember being in class on 06.06.06.
    I remember those days vividly. I am in touch with Bill Johnston, my lovely recorder teacher from Pasir Panjang and has located a number of us who were at that school at the same time. My father was in the RO and we used to spend Sunday’s on Blackamatti Island. I have two sisters, Judith and Katrina and a brother Bernard (who was sent home to Boarding School). For those of you who had younger brothers and sisters, my mum ran the Wessex Estate Kindergarten. Happy days. My happiest childhood days certainly.
    Christine Pratt nee Harral e: christine.pratt@ntlworld.co.uk or com
    Swindon. Wiltshire.

    • flanders1914 says:

      I was at Pasir Panjang 64-65. We lived at 5 Harding Road. Would love to get in touch with the family with 2 girls that lived at Number 6,after the McCormack family moved out. also, the young family that stayed with us. They had a baby boy born in Singapore.

      • Sue Maycock says:

        I went to school with a Heather McCormack in 1958/9 This was at Pasir Panjang Junior school. The 2 teachers I had were Mr Parrish in my first year there, followed by Mr Manktelow. After which moved on to the Grammar School.

      • flanders1914 says:

        The McCormack family that lived next door to me had two sons,Brian and John. I am still in touch with them.

    • Martin says:

      I was at Pasir Panjang school 1956-1958. For a while my mother, Mrs. Harper, was a school secretary and Mr Purdy was the head. I remember being taught by Miss Daisy. I also remember Mr. Flint

      • Sue Maycock says:

        Oh thanks for jogging my memory. I remember Mr Purdy. I was at Pasir Panjang Junior School from 1958 until I went on to the Alexandra Grammar School at the end of 1959. My form teachers were Mr Parrish, then Mr Mancktelow. Happy days indeed.

  67. Richard says:

    We live on Canvey Island, about half way between London and Southend, an Island on the Thames.
    My eldest brother George, he’s the one standing at the back with my sisters unfortunately passed away in 1999, and to be honest I haven’t seen or heard from my other sisters or brother since, quite sad really, but what can you do.
    My youngest sister, who was born in UK after my dad demobbed from army has the Photo Album of Singapore lots of photo’s of us all, but again I don’t know where she lives, we couldn’t get hold of her when my brother passed away.
    So everything I’m trying to do is from either memory of stories my parents told me when they were alive, or from records that I have that belonged to my father i.e. service record book and a few pictures that I have. If and when I find my brother name Dennis Harris, I will speak to him about Singapore and see what he remembers.
    I was reading your past posts, my dad was SQMS George Harris Royal Signals, so now we know the connection of our two families, your dad and mine probably worked together or at least worked in the same barracks

    You cannot post pictures direct onto this site as wordpress doesn’t allow that.
    But you can email them to the site owner …. yesterdayom@gmail.com and he will gladly post them on here for you as he did with my pictures, they were uploaded within a matter of an hour.

    • Laurence Skelton says:

      Yes, Richard, it is a pity how fractured families can become over the years.
      Your dad almost certainly worked with my dad at [Signals section] GCHQ – my dad was a simple sarg. at the time. He later progressed to SQMS in Hong Kong and then to WOII when we were in Herford, [West] Germany. Our ‘home base’ and where my brother and myself were born was Catterick Camp.

      Thanks for the heads up on posting pictures. One of the photos I have shows my brother et moi pretending to pull an embedded torpedo or bomb [only pointy bit showing] out of the ground close to a GCHQ building.

      • David Smith says:

        Seen several mentions of GCHQ, Wasn’t that CK2 on the yoo chui kang road (spelling)? My late father was a GCHQ spook and we were in Singers from 1967 to 71.

  68. Richard says:

    When we returned from Singapore we lived at 45 Hambleton Road, Catterick Camp, Then my father left army in 1956 after 22 years service, he was offered a second lieutenant commission but my father turned it down as WO1’s who got commissions went straight to first lieutenant, the army’s argument was he was an SQMS and not RSM. My father said no, but forever had this anger in him, as he loved the service and didn’t want to leave. I only managed 12 years, not many places to get posted in my day and didn’t want to spend all my army life in Germany or Ireland, so left after 12

    • Laurence Skelton says:

      Richard – When we came back from Singapore [on the Empire Fowey – ex-German ship Potsdam], we went very briefly to a bungalow in Somme Lines [now gone, and then were the first family in the then new build MQs [24, Cleveland Road that still exists albeit much modernised – including a double garage]. Do you remember the White shops, Sandys Soldiers Home, and Bluebell Woods? I went to school at St. Mary’s RC Primary in Richmond – now a block of flats. Do you remember the Unit kids’ Coronation party? My dad was at 3TR. [He did 25 years Regular army service and retained his Territorial [Royal Artillery – on the North East coastal guns – 6in. and 9.2s] number. It stuck out on the regimental listings.

      Did you go on the puff puffs from Richmond station? I went from there on our great adventures to Singapore, and in 1955 to Hong Kong.

    • Barbara Lake says:

      We lived in 44 Hambledon Road late 1951 until we went to Singapore in early `52. My father then a staff sergeant in The Royal Signals went ahead of us in ` 51. His career continued with over the years, several Mention in Despatches, BEM in `53 and several other medals for distinguished service etc. ….Between 1952 and 1954 I went to Tanglin Infants and then Pasir Panjang . When we arrived having sailed on the SS Chusan we lived in The Tangle Inn (?!) where I developed my lifelong dislike of green pea soup. My mother made me eat it and I vomitted all over the dining room!! I hated the infants school and my mother was asked to take me home after the dentist had visited as I had upset the rest of the class with my crying. The school bus stored me off infront of the Inn. There was s family there who had a young son. He and I used to hang over an internal balcony in the afternoons and sprinkle water on the sleeping staff in their cots, below. We were found out and got into trouble. We then moved to Wessex Estate where we lived on the ground floor of a Court whose name I cannot recall. The Lewises and the Etheringtons (RSM) lived in the same block. Back to Catterick on Empire Orwell. Lived in Field Grove.Then back to Singapore in `57 living in hirings in Katong, Serangoon Garden Estate before Birdcage Walk in Seletar and then Gibraltar Court. Left 1960. Father joined 7 Signal Regt that year as RQMS with Guy Symonds who was the QM and earlier, in Singapore, the RSM. My father then became RSM of 7th Signals after which he was commissioned and served in Catterick, Aden and again Germany. He went in to serve with the Sultan of Oman`s Forces. I probably went to school with you and Lawrence Skelton. The name Skelton rings a distant bell. I was Barbara Gerrard.

  69. Richard says:

    I remember the white shops and was Sandys Soldiers home just about on the roundabout in the centre? I am sure my wife and I stayed there for a few days while they sorted us a MQ when we returned from N/Ireland that would be in the 70’s, and just a little further along the road was the hospital where my son was born. I was too young to remember the Coronation Party or the trains at Richmond, I would have only been about 2 years old. The very first memory I have was standing on the kitchen table watching my mother leave the house to have my sister in Sept 1953, we were living in Essex then, my dad was in Catterick finalising his demob, before that nothing. So my mum leaving me to have my sister must have left a major mark on me, poor soul that I was 🙂
    I do have flashes of Singapore, especially now that I have booked to go out there in September, we are staying in a hotel on Sentosa Island, one of the only hotels that has a beach (things you have to do for your partner to keep them happy) not sure if it’s my memory or me just remembering little things my parents told me when I questioned them, I seem to remember they wouldn’t volunteer anything, just answer the questions that were asked, Strange !!

    • Laurence Skelton says:

      Richard – My brother and myself were born in the hospital you mention – which was in ‘mothballs’ for a while, but is being reinstated on the back of the planned expansions of the Camp. Sandys is a bit further along [away from the corner you mention] – I reckon you are thinking of the NAAFI Club {I remember it being built], which is close to that corner junction {Richmond one way, Hawes and Leyburn/ Barnard Castle another, and Catterick village and racecourse, and the A1 along past the White shops and beyond.

  70. Christine (nee Harral) Pratt says:

    Santonsa Island used to be called Blackamiti Island (sorry if spelling is wrong). Its a lovely place. Also, I used to go swimming at Sandy Soldiers home and remember their cherryade and iced buns that we used to look forward to after a swim. As I said before, we lived on Wessex Estate and I went to Pasir Panjang – 1966.

  71. Laurence Skelton says:

    Christine – I too, visited ‘Blackamatty’ as we kids used to call it. I also recall taking a trishaw ride across the Causeway from Singapore island to the Malayan mainland. I have also gone swimming at Sandy’s.

  72. Richard says:

    We are staying at the Rasa Santosa resort and spa, it is right over to the west of the Island. The Island is now like a holiday Island there is even a Universal Studio’s Theme Park just up the road from the hotel. Deep Joy 😦

  73. Douglas Bagnall says:

    If you look back to my entry on this site, November 28-2013, I have included a photo of Sandys Home (now the Temasek Club) taken from our house, 23 Whitchurch Road, Wessex Estate in 1950. The home was used in those days as a rest home for wounded service personnel.
    The Singapore Home was opened in 1949 by Miss K. Leslie Symes to serve the British soldiers in the same tradition set out by its founder Elise Sandes. After nearly thirty years of Christian service, the Singapore Home was handed over to the Government in Dec 75.
    See, eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_1025_2008-12-01.html for more info on this home .
    Doug Bagnall

  74. Mark Hamilton-Shimmen says:


    These are the names of the Roads at Wessex Estate, Woking Rd, Whitchurch Rd, Wesbourne Rd and Portsdown Rd. Does any of these ring your memory? Took a quick look on Google and caught a look see of 28 Woking Road, Wessex Estate. National Libary On Line (Old Newspapers) singapore has a Harris on the line up of a Signal”s Soccer Team in the 50s if you are interested go to, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/. Changi Hospital is now closed and looking derelict the last time was there some six months ago.

    Mark Hamilton-Shimmen

  75. Richard says:


    Thanks for that, I have followed your link, and searched to no avail, my father was in Singapore from 1949 to 1952 so if that soccer team is not in them years then it wouldn’t be him.
    I have also ‘walked’ the streets around Wessex Estate on google, for some reason you can not walk all the way round Whitchurch, there is a lorry with cones in the road, so when google did this road they couldn’t drive round, when i type in 28 Whitchurch it is showing, but can’t get to it. As I’ve said before, Whitchurch is just a distant memory I’m sure I heard my parents speak of, I could be wrong.
    With all the paperwork of my fathers I have and even my birth cert, there is just no road name, I have sent for a copy of my late brother’s birth cert to see if my mum or dad was the informant of birth, showing an address, just a long shot but keeping my fingers crossed. Also sent off for my Malay birth extract, I do remember having two birth certs, 1 British and 1 Malay. So I am wondering if the address will be on that, it’s a long shot again but won’t know unless I try. If we had the internet 40 years ago I would have had all this sorted by now !!

  76. Mr Peter Cunneen’s parents served in Singapore in the 1960s… Can anyone identify if photo 30 and 31 were taken at the Tanglin Barracks?


  77. Mark Hamilton-Shimmen says:

    Went down to Wessex today and found 28 which is on Woking Road, it is a 3 storey apartment flat off Portsdown Road on a little hill facing an open field. All the buildings there were named and 28 wäs named “Namur”. As for BMH, I could only find a reference to its use with Alexandra Hospital, none found on or with Changi Hospital. There were two military cemeteries close to where you lived, Pasir Panjang and Ulu Pandan Cemeteries, Ulu Pandan had a War Dog Plot next to it.


    Front of 28 (Namur) Woking Road

    Close Up View

    28 C is the flat with the white blinds and with lights on (Orange Globes)

    Woking Rd, looking towards Portsdown Road

    Another view of 28 Woking Rd

    Field in front of 28 Woking Rd

    Entrance to 28 Working Rd from Portsdown Rd

    Mark Hamilton-Shimmen

    • Richard says:


      Many Thanks for the pictures, I just really hope when I get paperwork from British Registery Office it will confirm this is the building we lived in.
      As regards to the name of the building, I have been doing a little more research in this area and what I have read is the buildings were named after famous battles the British Army fought, have the names been changed? as I don’t recognise ‘Namur ‘ as being such. Maybe I’m wrong on this one, but I am sure I read that somewhere.

  78. Richard says:

    And everyone else that have responded to my post’s, I would like to say thank you all very much.

    I have a very distant memory, I think I was somewhere between 12 and 15, so in the mid 60’s, my mother receiving a letter stating that the cemetery was being closed due to redevelopment, I thought this was for the airport for some reason, but after a little research the airport wasn’t redeveloped until later.
    Regarding ‘our’ house, in the picture I posted with the 6 kids in, I think this was taken outside our ‘house’ and again after careful study, in the top left background there is a much older building, a Church? I am sure that building won’t be there anymore.
    I am still waiting for the postman to bring me copies of my late brothers birth and death certs, and I am hoping my father or mother will be the informant with an address and not the C/O of the regiment as is on my birth cert.

    Again thank you all for your help and input on this for me

  79. Laurence Skelton says:

    Richard – Regarding ‘Namur’, there were a couple of sieges there 17th century and one in 1914.
    The British weren’t directly involved in the 1914 one, that was between the Germans and an outnumbered by 3 to 1 Belgian force and was a German victory.

    As for the earlier siege, in 1695, according to the wiki:
    ‘Although not awarded until 1910,[6] fourteen regiments from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales[7] bear “Namur 1695” as a Battle honour including the Grenadier Guards,[8] the Coldstream Guards,[9] the Scots Guards,[10] The Royal Scots,[11] The King’s Own Scottish Borderers,[12] The Royal Irish Regiment,[13] The Welch Fusiliers,[14] the Queen’s Royal Surreys,[15] the East Yorkshire Regiment,[16] the West Yorkshire Regiment[17] the King’s Own Royal Regiment,[18] the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment[19] the Sunderland Fusiliers[20] and the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers.[21] Other regiments taking part included the Bedfordshire Regiment[22]

  80. Laurence Skelton says:

    ps. It was between a smallish French force and a larger one that included the British units. The French consequently got steamrollered.

  81. Mark Hamilton-Shimmen says:

    Alexandra Hospital was British Military Hospital (BMH), Google History of Alexandra Hospital and Changi was known by several names since 1935, here again you can Google History of Changi Hospital for more details and interesting read.

  82. Richard says:

    HI All

    Just an update, I sent an Email to the war graves commission to ask if they had details of the cemetery my brother was moved from. And low and behold I got an answer this morning, he was originally buried at Pasir Pangjan cemetery and moved to Kranji in 1975. Looking on google maps, there is a large ferry terminal there now, but with open park area behind the terminal, just wonder if the park area was were the cemetery was, or was it were the terminal building is now.

  83. Mark Hamilton-Shimmen says:

    Just a quick note, looking at some old info that I have, Pasir Panjang Military Cemetery (PPMC) was located at Dover Road. Will up date should I have a different location in future.

  84. Hi, additional info here… The Pasir Panjang Military Cemetery was moved to Kranji Hill in 1971, which became the military cemetery of Kranji War Memorial today (the memorial itself was unveiled in 1946).

    At the memorial, there is a plaque that says “It is important to note that this is not specifically a Christian site, but one for all religions. The men and women who defended Singapore, who fought in Southeast Asia after the fall of Singapore and who were POWs were British, Australian, Indian, Canadian, New Zealanders, Dutch and South African, as well as Chinese and Malay. Nearly 50% of those named on the Memorial were Indian. In the Kranji site – Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Taoists and Buddhists, Confucians, Jains and Sikhs are all remembered. In the same way the graves have no hierarchy – Admirals are buried next to Able Seamen; Colonels next to Privates and Air Vice Marshals next to Pilot Officers. Men who lived and fought together are remembered equally, no matter their religion, nationality or rank.”

  85. Richard says:

    Just another update, contacted national archives and got some information regarding Pasir Panjang cemetery, I now have the record showing plot number of grave of my brother, they also have a plan of the cemetery, I’m just waiting for them to get back to me with an ‘estimate’ of cost to photocopy and send? Estimate don’t like the sound of that.
    Also found passenger list of mum going to singapore in 1949 on SS Empire Halladale and the return trip with me on MV Empire Windrush in 1952 we docked in England 9 days before my 1st birthday. All this information and non have the address we lived on Wessex Estate, just that little piece in my dad’s Army Record Book.
    But will carry on searching

  86. Douglas Bagnall says:

    Hi Richard,
    Shame you are having to struggle, I am fortunate in still having friends in Singapore who knew me and my family from those days, we have since returned and learned a lot. We sailed out on the Empress of Australia in 1949, and returned late 1951 on the SS Orduna, I had my seventh birthday at Gillman Barracks, but most of the time we lived at 23, Whitchurch Road, Wessex Estate, my father was head Chef at Alexander Hospital during this time and I went to Tanglin Infants School. See above for some of my previous entries if you like. All the best with your search.
    Doug Bagnall

    • Del Drummond says:

      Hi Doug,
      just discovered this site by accident while surfing the net. I was an army brat like so many others who have shared their memories here of Singapore. My father was a sergeant in the Royal Engineers.Sailed on the Troop Ship SS Devonshire (13/1/1948) I believe they were still called troop ships landing in Singapore 11/2/1948. Our return journey was on the Troop Ship SS Orduna, we sailed in June 1950 landing in England on the 20/7/1950.You say you returned late 1951 on the SS Orduna ? We were told on our journey that it was probably the last journey it would make. I did years ago a search on Google for the SS Orduna and it was decommissioned in November 1950 and broken up in 1951 ?Has Google boob? I also have the same postcard of the SS Orduna that is pictured on this site.
      Del Drummond

      • Douglas Bagnall says:

        Hi Del,
        sorry not been back to you earlier, just got back from my hols, can`t get enough of them since I retired sixteen years ago and still want more while I am reasonably fit.
        Yes, got the year wrong, it was 1950 as you say. What a life, so many great years since then and now. Due for another visit to see my old friends and places over there, nothing arranged yet though.
        All the best
        Doug Bagnall

  87. Richard says:

    Hi Doug
    Yes I have read all post’s on here and other sites. It seems every time I find a document which would give me the clue’s I’m looking for someone else other than my parents were the informants, very frustrating!! I have also found that my brother was first buried at Pasir Panjang Cemetery, got that info from War Graves Commission. I have searched the web for Pasir Panjang Cemetery and have found two pictures of a grassed area with a white tiled building in background saying this area was once the cemetery the pictures were taken in 1995 so the area may have changed since then.
    As for the passenger lists on the ships, my mother has written the list on the outward journey with an address were they lived prior to sailing and the passenger list for the journey back has address of where they were going not where they lived prior to sailing.
    So I’m still trying to find where 28c Wessex Estate is probably Woking Road or was it Whitchurch Road, and where Pasir Panjang Cemetery was, I have Dover Road. What I need is an old map of the area prior to the cemetery being moved that should pinpoint it.
    Again thanks to everyone on here who have helped me so far and I still have until September to find as much as possible before our trip.
    I can see us going back again next year to carry on the search, well you have to don’t you 🙂

  88. Richard says:

    Could anyone help with this one. When I do a search for say former cemeteries in Singapore, there are quite a few sites with this heading and Pasir Panjang is mentioned, when you enter any of these sites you get a list of cemeteries and where they were and on all the lists I have found not one of them have Pasir Panjang in them. Was this cemetery known by any other name?
    Many Thanks

  89. Mark Hamilton-Shimmen says:

    Yes you are right, there seems to be block on the Pasir Panjang Military Cemetery at Dover Road. No pictures no noting, when I did a search with National Haritage Board (Singapore) an article appeared but it requires permission to view from the either NHB Singapore or Housing and Development Board Singapore. You can try Using “Exhumation of Pasir Panjang Military Cemetery” when you do your search. Question is there someting about PPMC that we are not suppose to know??? Can anyone help? Would be good if you could include a picture, there seems to be pictures of Ulu Pandan Military Cemetery and Kranji only.

    • HI Mark

      I have been in contact with the National Archives here in UK, they have layout and grave markers for Pasir Panjang Cemetery, I have asked them for a copy of this. I am just waiting for them to get back to me with the fee. I am hoping it will show Dover Road on the layout, that way maybe I can pin point it on a modern day map of the area as I suspect it is now the playing field at the college and if so,I will hope to be visiting there next year if all goes well.
      If and when I get the paperwork I will take a picture and get it posted on here

      Cheers Richard

  90. Mark Hamilton-Shimmen says:

    Got this entry from actual Ship Document, believe this is your family when you left Singapore, tried copying the actual Document (page) but was not able to.

    UK, Incoming Passenger Lists 1878 – 1960

    Name of Ship: M.V. EMPIRE WINDRUSH
    Steamship Line: The New Zealand Shipping Co. Ltd.
    Official Number: 181561
    Port of Embarkation: Singapore
    Port of Departure: Hong Kong, China
    Port of Arrival: Southampton, England
    Date of Arrival: 10th April 1952
    Proposed Address in the UK: Hostel Accom, c/o ESO Southampton
    Country of Last Permanent Residence: UK

    Name Birth Occupation Age Official Number
    Mrs Violet Harris 1913 Housewife 39 181561
    Miss Eleanor Harris 1938 Student 14 181561
    Miss Joan Harris 1940 Student 12 181561
    Master George Harris 1941 Student 11 181561
    Miss Margaret Harris 1945 Student 7 181561
    Master Dennis Harris 1947 Student 5 181561
    Master Richard Harris 1951 Infant 11/12 181561

    Grave Marker of RM HARRIS
    (Don’t know if SOMS is an acronym)

    Name: R. M. Harris
    Event Type: Burial
    Event Place: Singapore, Singapore
    Cemetery: Kranji Military Cemetery
    Death Date: 27 Apr 1951
    Affiliate Image Identifier: 2671805
    Latitude: 1.41846
    Longitude: 103.75731
    Affiliate Create Date: 2012-12-03 18:21:11

    Source: Jesus Christ of the latter Day Saints Family History
    Mark Hamilton-Shimmen

    • Richard Abbott says:

      We went out to Singapore for the first time in 1953 on the HMT Empire Windrush, she dropped us off then on the way back blew up and sank in the Mediterranean.

  91. Richard says:


    Yes thanks, I have both of these documents and pictures of each of the ships they sailed in, this has all been very interesting reading. I am just annoyed with myself for leaving this all these years, I really should have done this a long time ago. But better late than never, I find it very strange that there is no info regarding Pasir Panjang Cemetery, I have asked National Archives for the info they have and just waiting for their reply.
    Thank You

  92. Richard says:

    Here’s the link to web page showing the area of Pasir Panjang Cemetery in 1995

  93. Mark Hamilton-Shimmen says:

    SOMS (Typo) on the Grave Marker, should be SQMS (Rank / Designation or Appointment)

  94. Richard says:

    I have a picture of stone taken some 5 years ago, the wording is weathered slightly more than this picture but the Q does have a small tail, looks like the wording has been repainted and the tail of the Q has been left off. Wonder if I can take a small pot of paint with me and put it right

  95. Was anybody in Dempsey Road between 1956 and 61? Or at the Tanglin primary school. I have a number of photos to dig out of the school, the nativity play, the house I lived in and a birthday party – my 4th I think so that would be in Nov. 1959. I also remember the grocer who used to come round and every one hid their dogs because there were rumours that the Malay ate dogs! Also, does anyone remember going to the Sgt.’s mess at Christmas and Father Christmas arriving by helicopter?

    • Bill Christie says:

      Hi Dordognemouth, yes I was in Singapore in 1957-1959 and I think that I went to Tanglin Infants school. My dad was a sergeant in the Seaforth Highlanders. I remember swimming most afternoons, and visiting the salt-water Britannia baths as a special treat.
      I remember jumping the storm drains and looking for black and white centipedes under stones in those drains. In 1959 I would have been 7, but we returned to the U.K. in May that year.

  96. John Craven says:

    September 9th 2014

    I was a Corporal in the RAF billeted on Tanglin barracks in 1955 to 1958. There was around 25 of us, RAF,Army and Royal Navy personnel billeted on the barracks, but we worked at a place called Phoenix Park, we dealt with confidential military affairs for the South East Asia Treaty Organisation and were attached to the High Commissioners Office. Our section was call the Far East Defence Secretariat (FEDSEC). I know you will be as old as me, eighty years old, but you may still be out there. I would love to hear from anybody who remembers this.

  97. Ian Ng says:

    Actually I’m just a 10 Year-Old Kid. I just love reading about history, but I want to find out whether this building is haunted. Cause I’m superstitious about these heritage buildings. My email signifies I’m not an adult, and it is created cause in a bit and my nickname.

  98. Ian Ng says:

    I’m just a Ten-Year Old Kid and love to read about history, so Dordognemouth was asking where was the Sampan Cinema Located, I searched the Net but to no avail, and Dordognemouth mentioned it in Harding road, so I suppose it has been demolished due to building up the PUBs and Schools. You can check along the street where Tangling Barracks is Located. Half of the Building is now occupied by my old kindergarten, St James Church Kindergarten. It use the be the Army Soldiers Homes. You can check Google for more Information, Go online for help or look around the empty hills along Dempsey. Hope this helped. Thanks.

  99. Well,
    Only 24 hours to go and my wife and I will be on our way to Singapore, I really hope we have enough time to get to all the places I want to visit, but if not that will give us an excuse to return again next year 🙂

    • Laurence Skelton says:

      You lucky people! I hope you {plural] have a great time – I have the tissue viability clinic tomorrow! [Win some, lose some.] Still, I have great, if slightly fading memories of Singapore, Malaya and Hong Kong.

  100. Lesley Annable says:

    Have a really lovely visit when you go to Singapore. I was there at the end of last year and there are lots of changes. Have fun

  101. Stephanie Romiszewski says:

    Hi there,

    My mum and her sisters were living in Tanglin Barracks around 1957 for a few years (they were about 4ys to 10yrs old). Their father was an officer there. We are in the U.K and my partner and I are going to Singapore in November. We would like to visit Tanglin Village to take some pictures for them and possibly get a tour or talk to someone who may have been around or can give us more info whilst we are there. My mum and her sisters were particularly fond of the officers mess as they used the pool and have lots of memories of the place. Two of them went to one of the Tanglin Barracks primary schools and they also spent some time at Raffles hotel. If anyone has any information or might be able to help us whilst we are there we would be so grateful. Also, I know my mum and her sisters would love to talk to people who were around at the same time. My email is stephrom@googlemail.com if you have any information. Thank you!

  102. What can I say. What a wonderful place, My wife and I are now home, and home sick for Singapore !. I visited the hospital where my twin and I were born, the house we lived in while there and of course we went to Kranji to visit my twin brother’s grave this was a very emotional day but also made me feel complete somehow. As my wife is a sun worshiper, we agreed that the mornings would be taken up with going to places I could remember and the afternoons on the beach at the hotel on Sentosa Island. Unfortunately this did not give me enough time to see all that I wanted to see, so my wife ( bless her ) has agreed we should go back next year for a longer stay, she’s not silly !! I have lots of photo’s that I haven’t even started to sort out yet, but have got pics of me in the same places of the photo’s I posted on here i.e. At Haw Par Villa aka Tiger Balm Villa, and standing at the post where my mum was holding me at our house, just wonderful pictures 60 odd years apart.

  103. Lesley Annable says:

    So pleased to hear that you had a lovely time and were able to go back to places and relive all your memories

  104. Ann says:

    .We sailed to Singapore on the Chusan Jan 1952. Mum,brothers Mike and Raymond and me. Dad was already there. We lived on Sterling Road. I have some fond memories of these times. Can remember my best friend at the time were twin girls, but unable to remember their names. Dad was a PTI and trained the boxing team. Brother Mike went to Box in Australia aged 13 with if my memory serves me Mr S Palliandy. “Probable spelt wrong” anyone else in Singapore at the same time.

    • Laurence Skelton says:

      Ann – I left Singapore on the Empire Fowey a couple of months after you arrived. While we were at Catterick prior to being sent to Hong Kong, we lived close to a PT Corps instructor who was an Olympic gold medallist. His wife was well fit as well!

  105. HI
    I emailed Commonwealth War Graves Commission back in July before we went on our trip to Singapore, asking if they had a plan of Pasir Panjang Cemetery as I had been searching everywhere and just couldn’t find anything about it on the web. Well, would you believe it, they have just emailed me, apologising for the delay and attached to the email was a plan of the cemetery !
    It is not in good shape but you can see all the grave plans and where the chapel was. If anyone is interested I will ask for it to be uploaded on this site

  106. Mark Shimmen says:

    Yes please Richard

  107. richardharriscanveyisland says:

    I would love to overlay this plan onto a modern map of the area, but I don’t think there is enough of Dover Road on the plan to get an accurate position

  108. Mark Shimmen says:

    Finally we have got something of the old Pasir Panjang Cemetery, “Thank You Richard”
    I am sure if we keep at it, someone out there have got more to share about Pasir Panjang Cemetery (Singapore)…

  109. richardharriscanveyisland says:

    I have also found 5 photo’s of the Prime Minister of New Zealand laying a wreath at Pasir Panjang in 1955.
    The site is here, not allowed to copy photo’s without permission.
    Then type in Pasir Panjang Military Cemetery
    It gives a feel of how the cemetery was laid out, I’m sure there’s more somewhere, will keep searching

  110. Mark Shimmen says:

    Pity we can’t have the photos on this page…

  111. Mark Shimmen says:

    If it is possible without infringing on any intellectual property rights, could we have all of them through the link provided by Richard Harris?

  112. Hi all, here is the map showing the location of the British Military Cemetery at Dover Road (yellow box), shared by Robert Todd.

    And here’s the modern map of the same vicinity as comparison.

    (Map credit: Streetdirectory.com)

  113. Not sure if this is acurate or if Pasir Panjang everything I have investigated shows it to the south of Dover Road and the entrance is actually in Dover Road. Ned to keep researching

  114. harry says:

    i was in the tanglin otters in the late sixties. lived at 133 holland road then 41 rochester park. i live in norwich now, run a motorcycle shop, and love real ale and chillies. so put that in your eyes and smoke it..also swam at gilman and dover road pools too..and the commonwealth pool in edinburgh when i was there and went to fox covert school. yamaha 350 lc,s are tremendous bikes. harry.

    • asearle00 says:

      Hi Harry I too was in the Otters and Tanglin Tigers football team, lived on Holland Road but can’t remember what number. My dad was a seargeant in the RE and was stationed on Blackamatti for a while. I remember the guy at the pool who served heavily buttered thick toast sprinkled with sugar. We called him Mr Happy. Was there from 66 to 69.
      Andy Searle

  115. Christine Pratt nee Harral says:

    We were in Singapore from 1965 to 68 or 69. My mum ran the Kindergarten on Wessex Estate for a while (not far from Pasir Panjang School). There was a hut in the garden and swings etc. in the gardens and toy cars and bikes galore. The children used to have a sleep and a snack which I helped prepare some days; to include a drink of juice, a piece of fruit, a biscuit and a bell shaped lolipop. The 3 to 5 year old children always used to ask for a blue lollipop which was the only colour that did not exist, so it became a bit of a joke! I remember Tanglin and the pool and remember the cherryade and the iced buns. I have vivid memories of those days. I was 9 – 11yrs old at the time. Our surname was Harral and I had two sisters and a brother, all younger. We went to Blackamitti every Sunday. My dad was in the Royal Ordnance. I am in touch with Bill Johnston, my recorder teacher at Pasir Panjang – and he has reunited me with four others in my year at that time. Christine.pratt@ntlworld.com

  116. asearle00 says:

    That’s around the time I was there. I think one of our next door neighbours were called the Cole family. Two sets of twins the girls were Joy and Julie and the boys were Terry and Tony, and there was an older boy and girl but I can’t remember there names. I think there dad was a chef.

    • Mike Brown says:

      Hi, discovered this whilst looking on the web, My name is Mike Brown we lived in Tanglin barracks 68-70, I have a sister Linda (60) Brother Pete (58) brother Patrick (57) and youngest sister Liz (53) we lived in the last house before the church Harding or Dempsey road ?? I Remember the Coles good friends with Jon Cole same age as me 62 & his sister Janet a few years younger who lived the other end of the road, there were also a family called the Attards still in touch with Len Attard who now lives in Cheltenham he had a younger sister & brother

  117. Hi, do anyone remember the Tanglin Telephone Exchange?

    Do you think anyone is still around that could remember the location of the Tanglin telephone exchange?

    Photo enclosed of the interior, 1949/50

    I would be grateful if anyone could give me a clue.

    Doug Bagnall

  118. Laurence Skelton says:

    Doug – I half expected to see my mother when you mentioned posting a photo, if I recall correctly she worked there part time circa 1950-51. I suppose it helps to have dad or hubby in the R.Sigs. at GCHQ.

    I hope everyone connected with this site and their nearest and dearest have a great Christmas and New Year. I must dig out that old black and white photo my father took of our living room in Tanglin while decorated [complete with lit up tree], Christmas 1951.

    • Laurence Skelton says:

      Christine – I went to the kindergarten circa 1950 for a little while, if it was the one close to the perimeter gateway across the road from the Botanical Gardens. I recall playing with Plasticine and reading sentences such as ‘The cat sat on the mat’ from a Janet and John book I found the book an easy read, since I had read sentences like that over a year earlier. I badgered my parents to go to the ‘big school’ and persuaded the head of Tanglin Infants to take me in.

  119. Douglas Bagnall says:

    Laurence, can’t tell you how much these memories mean to me, a mishap some years ago left me with a bad memory so every little helps me put things together again. Thank goodness for my family album and a return trip Singapore I made some years ago.
    I do know that my father was a Class 11 Warrant officer in charge of the catering at Alexandra Hospital and I suppose this is what helped provide our privileged lifestyle and accommodation at 23, Wessex Estate.

    Christine, I too went Tanglin Infants School in 1949/50, but can not remember much about it, interesting to note 90th Anniversary Celebrations on the 18 of March 2015. Often wonder if they still have a register from 1950, suppose being part of the Tanglin Trust School Alumni I could ask.

    Doug Bagnall

  120. Laurence Skelton says:

    Doug – Yes, photos and others’ memories are important reinforcers to aging recollection.
    Regarding Tanglin Infants records from that time, I strongly suspect we will be mentioned in despatches in the BFES records department – quelle horreur!

    I wonder if your dad or folks working with him at the time had ‘ghostly’ experiences at the Alexandra Hospital – they were relatively commonplace then – linked to the killings by Japanese soldiers of staff and patients during the battle for Singapore. My mother as a patient had such an experience, as did the father of a friend of mine who was a doctor there in the after-war years.

  121. Doug Bagnall says:

    Laurence, I think the only spirits my father came across was in the Mess, Although he did spend some time in Alexandra Hospital as well as running the kitchens. I have sent a photo of him and my mother visiting him along with some others of our friends that I hope will be published so they may be recognized by someone looking at this site.
    Merry Xmas

    Tom & Wilma

    Neighbour Cathlene

    My Mother

    • Laurence Skelton says:

      Hi, Douglas, I forgot to mention that my father’s first name was/is also Norman – I suppose to was a fairly popular name circa their births. My mother’s name was/is Nora.
      I hope your health is holding up.

    • Alice says:

      Hi Douglas! I am writing a report about the lives being led around the Tanglin barracks in the 1950s. Is it okay if I use one of your pictures as an illustration? I will cite your name in it!

  122. Jean Hall says:

    I was born in tanglin /BMH Singapore in 1955, I am trying to trace my god parents Mr &Mrs Arthur Kite my parents were william Mackenzie Watret ( Bill ) and Mrs Jean Watret ( Joy ).Please email if you could provide any information you think might be helpful. Many thanks Jean. More.

  123. Laurence Skelton says:

    With reference to the periodic disturbances and ‘terrorist’ activity, I recall the time when we were living in civvy quarters – part of a row of bungalows. My father was off on duty and our attention was drawn to a bit of a commotion outside. My mother cautiously went out, ushering we kids back in, but my curiosity had been engaged, so I persisted in following my mother.

    There was a group of neighbours excitedly talking and pointing at our roof, upon which was a gentleman who I later learned was a ‘Communist’ fugitive from a shootout with the police. Fortunately his attention was focused on getting away. He jumped down into our back garden and legged it across some paddy fields? – beyond the garden. My father, wouldn’t you know turned up with a truck load of armed squaddies just too late to catch him!

  124. Wilson Fong says:

    have heard story that Demsy Hill was also a former British Tanglin Air Base!

  125. Adnan Kwnam says:

    I was, don’t remember a lot, except walking to school up the hill and ripping up y school report and hiding it in the big tree outside the school. and chocolate and strawberry milk, I was about 5 years old. Oh and the ice cream man 5 cents for a cone. My name is Patric Preece

  126. Wendy Shelley says:

    I was a child in Tanglin Barracks from 1957-1959. My brother was born in Alexandra Hospital in January 1958 and I attended a kindergarten somewhere on Holland Road but the only memories I have are of nuns as teachers and wearing a different colour gingham dress for each day of the week – the wrong colour resulted in punishment! My father was in the Royal Engineers (Leslie Richmond) and my parents had good friends who lived in Rochester Park (Jack and Rose Harrison). If any of this sounds familiar I would love to know.

  127. Isabelle Lea says:

    Hi, I my father Jeremy Ventham, Royal Signals, was based at Tanglin Barracks for a period of time from 1970 and I was born at the Alexandra Hospital in December 1970. We lived on Medway Park and I have very sketchy memories of the house, my ahmer (?), the botanic gardens etc. I’m planning a trip back to Singapore next year with my mother as unfortunately my dad is no longer with us

  128. Melanie Weiss (Ward) says:

    the house you see, is where my mother grew up in with her sister and brother, that was back in the 1930s I was at Lee Maternity clinic, Bras Basah Road 28 W Block Railway Hill Alexandra My father was a Warden at Changi Prison, and we lived in the house just below the prison. Singapore was so different back them,. and still have wonderful memories playing in Changi beach, and now you have to go Sentoas to swim in the sea. They kept very little of the old Singapore.
    Melanie Weiss (Ward)

    • Richard Abbott says:

      A good friend of our family was also a Prison Office at Changhi Prison, they lived at Moon Crescent married quarters just by the prison.

  129. Colin Epton says:

    My Mother was at Tanglin in 1949-1953.
    Can anyone tell me which part of the barracks the WRACs were housed in at this time?

  130. Hi folks – In 51/52 I was based at Pasir Panjang – R.Sigs Calcutta Camp where a young n/s L/Cpl was shot dead by accident and I think buried originally at a cemetery to the rear of our Pasir Panjang camp that sounds like the one under query – later re-buried at Kranji Near our camp the new Princess Mary barracks (now believed a University) was being built and we were first troops to occupy them 1952. We sailed out on Dunera and home on Dilwara. On the map showing Holland Village , Calcutta Camp (Canvass) was about one mile West. I dont think many will recall it today though. We operated teleprinters from Fort Canning to units up country I Malaya.

    • Richard Abbott says:

      My dad also worked at Fort Canning. I remember the Dunera and Dilwara, she had the nickname of the “Dilwara Wobble”

      • Sue Maycock says:

        We went out on the Dilwara in January 1958. The Captain said he had never seen the barometer so low in all of the 99 voyages he had sailed in her. We went anyway. That brave little ship tossed and rolled so much that you could hardly stand. The starboard side was out of bounds to all troops and the portholes on that side were covered with metal covers.The poor troops in the bow were being stretchered to sick bay for attention due to sea sickness.
        My mother’s dressing gown was leaning away from the hook it was on at a tremendous angle and when her bow dipped down into a trough the propellors came out of the water at the stern. The noise they made compared to the gentle thrumming when under the water was quite something.
        We also went up to Penang on the Nevasa from Singapore having had our car shipped up in advance. We then drove down the whole of Malaya back to Singapore staying in Rest Houses en route. My father was armed as there were still bandits about at that time and I was given strict instructions not to stray too far into the rubber trees when we stopped for a break in case I was kidnapped or got lost.

      • Martin Harper says:

        We also drove up to Penang for a holiday and then back again, staying in Malacca, Port Issac, Kuala Lumper and Ipoh on the way. We were able to avoid driving in convoys as my father was armed with a pistol;. However, he did on one occasion run out of petrol between villages. He flagged down a lorry and ordered the driver to take my mother, myself and my younger brother to the next village, where the policeman on the village gate arranged for a can of petrol, and then commandeered another lorry to take us back. As we approached our car, my mother could see my fathers legs on the ground poking out from behind the car, and feared the worse. It turned out he had felt tired, and had laid down for a snooze!

  131. Legenddd says:

    How do you get to the place today?

  132. Kevin says:

    Hi, I am looking for old photos of the Old Tanglin Barracks and Ministry of Defence. If anyone has them, can you share with me? Thanks a lot.

  133. Steve Reynolds says:

    Hi , my grandfather was in the ROAC as a Warrant Officer class 2 stationed in Singapore between 1949 -1952 his name is Edgar Summerfield, his daughter( My mother) , Anne Summerfield use to tell me stories of her time there as a nine year old. I have photos of him on the parade ground and my wife and i are going to Singapore next March and plan to visit the Tanglin Barracks and anywhere else of nostalgic family interest. I am glad that i have come across this site as it is very interesting.

  134. flanders1914 says:

    I used to live at 5 Harding Road Tanglin in 1964/65. still in touch with the people who lived at No. 6 i 1964. I would like to get in touch with the family of two girls who moved into No6 in 65. Used to go swimming at Sandes Soldiers Home. Went to school at Pasir Panjang, used to call the school Pots and Pans in 64/65. Peter Anderson.

    • jenny grover says:

      Hi I’m not one of the two girls you are looking for but I lived in Tanglin 1964/65 (25 Dempsey Road) and went to Pasir Panjang school so was possibly in the same class? My house at school was Victory (green I think) all of them being named after famous ships. I too was taught to swim by a soldier called Sandie who my dad knew and his method in my case was chucking me in and hoping I floated to the top. So many great memories. By the way my name was Jennifer Marsh

      • flanders1914 says:

        Hi Jennifer one year was spent at Pasir Panjang Annex. Cant remember the house at school. but it was green I remember that. dad was in the Pay Corps. I learnt to swim for a mars bar and a cup of tea. My brother William was in the yellow house at school he was also a choir boy


      • Dave Baglee says:

        I went to Pasir Panjang, and I think Tangling Infants before that, think that We were there till about 65, I remember the House badges You mentioned, they were like shields, remember Victory was Green and Mayfower Yellow I think! Amazing how the memories come back!

      • Dave Baglee says:

        Hi Jenny, I too was at Pasir Panjang and remember the Victory Badge being Green, think the Yellow one was Mayflower? Was there at the same time as You, I think 63/4/5, My Dad was an RAOC Major attached to the Singapore Military Forces and lived in a beautiful House on Range Grove Road. Great Days, My Sister was also there, She was two Years younger than Me.

  135. Jenny grover says:

    Ha Ha I was probably bribed to learn to swim with a Mars bar too and a bottle of Coke. I was born in 1957 (on a French Canadian Air Base in Baden Baden where my dad was stationed and involved in the Suez Crisis) so you can work out whether we would have been in the same class at Pasir Panjang. The yellow house was Mayflower. I wasn’t in the choir but was very involved in the recorder classes run by Mr.Johnston who was a teacher and who has been in touch on a site called Singas, and still meets up with various pupils in London. My form teacher was Mrs Heron.
    My dad – Roy Marsh- was a seargent major at Tanglin Barracks.
    Such great times and I feel very grateful to have had the Singapore experience in my childhood.

    • Bill Christie says:

      I was at Tanglin barracks in 1958 / 9. My dad was a sergeant in the Seaforth Highlanders . I remember being taught to swim by the thrown in at the deep end method, (seems to have been popular in those days), swimming most afternoons in a pool (on the base, I think??). Special trips to the Britannia Baths included a bottle of cherryade.

  136. Liyana says:

    Hi all, I am doing a short 5-min documentary film about how military personnel and their families led their lives around the Tanglin barracks. I would love to find out from those whom have had experience in the Sampan Cinema, the Tanglin Infants School, the Tanglin Officers’ Mess House…etc about how the weekends or free time was spent! I would be greatly appreciative if I could conduct a short interview regarding this. Do contact me at liyanaaoy@hotmail.com or 90618672 if you are willing to be interviewed by me! Thank you!

  137. Alice says:

    Hi! Does anyone know if the locals lived among the British people at the barracks in the 1960s?

  138. jenny marsh says:

    Hi when I was a child I lived at the barracks 1964-66 and do not remember any locals, apart from staff, living there. We had an Armah who did our housework and a young girl who only did our washing and ironing and they both lived in an annexe in our garden. Probably other staff who worked around the barracks may have lived in accommodation but I certainly don’t think locals just lived there as all the housing was used for army personnel.

    • Alice says:

      Hi Jenny! Thank you so much for you reply. It is okay if I use this piece of vital information in my report? I will definitely cite you in it!

  139. jenny marsh says:

    No Problem – contact me again if there is anything else I can help you with. As I said I was a child but it was such a great experience that my memories are still very vivid.

    • Alice says:

      Yes! I would like to know how you, as a child, would spend a typical day at the barracks. Did you go to the Sampan Cinema along Harding Road often? Where did you used to go to play?

    • Janet says:

      Afternoon Jenny,

      Sorry to take so long to answer your email re the Gym on Tanglin Barracks. I was stationed at 4 Indep Coy WRAC in Tanglin Barracks from June 1962-10 February 1964. I left the WRAC on marriage and my husband {he was with 200 Singapore Provost Coy then with 99 Gurkha Infantry Brigade Group Provost Unit in Nee Soon Garrison) and I then returned to UK in May 1965. My husband was posted back to Singapore to 99 Gurkha Infantry Brigade Group Provost Unit in May 1967 and we lived at 112 Casurina Road, Sembawang Hills Estate off the Thompson Road for four months then moved to 8B The Loop, Nee Soon Garrison and our two children and I came back to the UK in May 1969 and my husband stayed on and left Singapore on 9 November and flew to Perth Western Australia and joined the Australian Army. Our two children and I flew to Perth and landed at Perth Airport on 1 September 1970, We lived in Perth for over five years, then posted to Melbourne for 2 1/2 years then finally to Canberra. We have lived in Canberra for ten years and on our property since 1988.

      I loved going to the night time markets in Orchard Road, Newton Circus, Sembawang Hills etc. take care Janet

      • Sue Maycock says:

        Hello Janet
        We were in Singapore a bit before you, however I do wonder if you knew of Col. Gordon Shakespear who was out there with the Gurkhas back then. I am still in contact with his son as previously to our Singapore trip we were close neighbours up in Catterick.

      • Lesley Annable says:

        I was stationed at 4 Coy WRAC from April 1965 to March 1967. I actually joined up in Singapore as my father was stationed there. I don’t think he was too happy at me joining up. My first job was working with my dads Co.s wife, honestly I did behave lol. Janet because of the time you were at 4 Coy did you know Ollie Gerrard and Dawn Potter. Ollie actually lives in NZ

      • Janet Burrows nee Brown says:

        Morning Lesley.

        I can remember several people but not the ones you mentioned.

        I know Norma Robinson, Sheila Webb, Lee Telford (WRAC MPs), Nora Cole (posted to Berlin) and Gloria Nash (posted to London District Provost in Kensington).

        I worked in Stats and Records and in the Telephone Exchange every Monday afternoon.


  140. jenny marsh says:

    We went to school only in the morning, due to the heat, and had homework to do in the afternoon. This was done quickly and then went straight to the barracks swimming pool. I learnt to swim by being thrown in by a soldier friend of my fathers, who apparently taught all the kids the same way. Most of our social life was spent around the pool which had grass areas to play and a café which sold hot and cold drinks and snacks like crisps (multi flavours had just come out) and Coke and 7Up and Fanta Orange. These were bought in small glass bottles. Around the pool, I remember a couple of night time BBQ’s and many swimming galas and diving competitions.
    On a Sunday we often went to The Officers Mess on the Barracks where the kids had lunch separate to the adults and then we were all walked to The Sampan Cinema for a film whilst our parents had lunch and danced in the afternoon to a small band. We were allowed one ice cream in the cinema and then walked back to our parents.
    We lived at 25 Dempsey Road and most of our neighbours had kids the same age so we all played together and listen to Pop Music like The Beatles. We also spent time jumping over the large storm drains outside the houses.
    We went to the Barracks Library often too and I went to The Brownies and my sister The Guides once a week which was held in a hut on The Barracks.
    Saturday morning was spent at school doing activities like recorder, country dancing , art or music.
    We watched tv shows like Dr Who, The Jetsons and Ed The Horse.
    We wrote letters home to the UK to our relatives and friends (no phone calls).
    There were occasional birthday parties around friends houses where often someone called The Guli-Guli Man came who was a snake charmer.
    We would often go to The Botanical Gardens to feed the monkeys and Haw par Villa (not called that then) into town to CK Tangs and have a Coke Float in Robinsons Cold Storage and Blaka Mati Island (not called that now). Hope this info helps

    • Alice says:

      Yes, thank you so much for this! I greatly appreciate this.

    • Richard Abbott says:

      I remember the “Sampan” cinema, it was air conditioned, also the big stores of Robinson’s and John Little in Raffles square close to “Change Alley”, which was opposite “Clifford Pier”, now a restaurant I think.

  141. jenny marsh says:

    Hi Dave For some strange reason I can remember very few of my classmates names apart from a few Christian names of the girls but given the dates I’m sure we would have been in the same class. I remember Mrs Heron and Mr Johnston as teachers and a really strict Scottish lady maths teacher (not my strong subject). I remember strange drink “troughs” of water with plastic beakers which we all shared (no health & safety then) and climbing frames on the field, Saturday morning activities was my favourite especially Country Dancing. I also remember catching the school bus every day on my own which now seems quite odd as I was only 7 years old!
    I had a sister too but she was 4 years older and went to Bourne.
    I am so grateful for the experience, memories of which have never left me, and even though I attended many schools during my childhood I am certain it gave me the self confidence which has stayed with me all my life.

  142. petra johnson says:

    Hi there everyone i came across this page when searching online to try and find out why my great aunt went to singapore after the war was over ,I know my great uncle was in the military but I am struggling to find out anything about him !! I know my aunt went to singapore on a ship

    Gender Female
    Age 22
    Birth Date abt 1927
    Departure Date 3 Dec 1949
    Port of Departure Liverpool, England
    Destination Port Singapore
    Ship Name Orbita
    Shipping Line Henderson Line
    Official Number 182084
    Master S Thomson
    but this is all I can find. I have read through all of your comments and I was wondering if this was normal?? and if my uncle was already there?? as I have read through the ships manifest and it seems to be all wives and children.
    thank you in advance if any one can help
    kind regards

  143. Sherry Abbott says:

    I lived in Tanglin in the 50’s with my parents and two sisters. Dad was with the RAOC. I remember we lived opposite the Catholic Church and not far from the Botanical Gardens. Would anybody have any idea what the name of the road would have been.

  144. flanders1914 says:

    My next door neighbour might have been in the RAOC, he was killed in Northern Ireland. You might have lived in Harding Road.

  145. Sherry abbott says:

    Thanks for that. Was harding road opposite the Catholic Church? I think we must have been there in 1959. I would have been 11 years old do my memory is not so clear. I do remember going to the Botanic gardens which was close by and being tormented by the monkeys.

    • Laurence Skelton says:

      Sherry – I can’t remember the address of our MQ, but it was quite close to a barrack gate, and within sight of that corner entrance to the Botanical Gardens. I have an old black and white photo of me pointing out a monkey in a banana plant to my kid brother. He got bitten by a grumpy old male. We used to go to Mass at St. George’s Church, and also at the Catholic Cathedral in the city.

      How time flies, both of my parents are now dead, as is my wife, 9.5yrs my junior. Before my father died he told me of a family story/legend, that there was ‘nobility’ some time back in our family tree – oh, my! – he was so right! I am now keeping my old brain well exercised by questing and checking up on all those very many branches. Enough to keep me going for the rest of my life, and those just stem from my paternal grandfather’s line. That line goes back from Skelton to de Skelton, to De Brus Skelton, to DeBrus/the Bruce; to the likes of William ‘The Conqueror’ and the Jarls/Earls of Orkney and kings and queens of Scandinavia, and then through intermarriages and concubines quite literally all over the shop. I have many Roman, Holy Roman and Byzantine emperors, Mark Anthony, the Herods, Nero, Caligula, Messalina, Pharaohs, Agamemnon, Helen of Troy – amongst the familial branches. Thankfully I also have numbers of ‘saints’.

  146. flanders1914 says:

    If by the catholic Church you mean St George’s church, harding road sort curved around so depending on where you lived along harding road yes. There was/is an open area between the main stretch of harding road and the church. The church and Harding road are still there. sadly the old Army quarters have gone. If you google, Google Maps Tanglin Singapore you should find a clearer picture of where things are/were. Go to the map view first, and then click on the satellite view.

  147. Hi flanders1914 and Sherry Abbott, I’ve uploaded a map of Tanglin for your reference. Dated 1961

    (Map credit: Singapore Street Directory 1961)

  148. Sherry abbott says:

    So Harding road is not shown on this map? Thank you so much for taking the time to try and update me, much appreciated.

    • Hi Sherry, Harding Road was actually not listed on this old 1961 map, but the road was right beside Minden Road (on the left side of the map)

    • flanders1914 says:

      No, i would go to google maps, that way under directions you can type in Harding Road. First Google Maps Singapore
      then in DirectionsType in 5 Harding Road Singapore,
      and then in the next line Botanical Gardens, you will see St George’s church

      • Melaniie Weiss, IWard) says:

        my grandparents lived close to the Botanical Gardens, as a young girl I remember the moneys running free. I lived in two different barracks, the one tanglin barracks, and the other was Changi Barrack, so close to the beach, that was way back in 1940, which is now the Airport, life was so different then.. Most of my cousins now live in Darwin Austrialia, my parents moved to England. I move to Canada in 1965. My father name was Bob ward , my mother before her marriage was Olgo Desouze Still love the food of Singpaore

  149. Ann says:

    Hi, I too lived in Singapore from 1952 for just over two years. We lived on Stirling Road, Queenstown. I would love to hear from anyone who was there at the same time with some of their memories. We sailed to Singapore on The Chusan January 1952 with our mum and my older brothers Michael then aged 12, Ray 5 and myself Ann aged then 2 years. Dad was a physical training instructor Bill Brennan. Wonder if there is anyone out there that remembers our family.

  150. Gillian Susan Maycock says:

    I was in Singapore from 1958-early 1960. Took my 11+at Pasir Panjang Junior School and went to the Alexandra Grammar School for 1 term before being posted to Germany. We were not at the main grammar school as it was full, but were taken in 10 tonne army trucks to a collection of attap huts somewhere along the main road from Pasir Panjang towards the Clementi Road. We were in a hiring up Pasir Panjang Hill at the time. Can anyone shed light on where exactly the annexe for the AGS was exactly?

  151. Gillian Susan Maycock says:

    Which road was the Rest House situated in that we stayed in on arrival in 1958. It was either Nassim Hill or Road. Is it still there?

  152. Heartbroken former British soldier returns to Malaysia 47 years later to find lost love

    27 Jan 2015

    A former British soldier who was stationed in Malaysia more than 47-years-ago has returned to find his long lost love.

    Retired Warren Holbrook, now aged 67, proposed to Wan Jamilah Wan Hussein, the daughter of a wealthy local businessman, after the pair met in the Malaysian state of Penang in June 1967.

    But their engagement was brought to a sudden end after army bosses moved him to a new base to punish him for having a relationship with a local.

    Now, Warren, who has never married, has flown back to Malaysia to track down the young woman, known as Fiona, who he met at a hotel all those years ago.

    He said: “The party was for a fellow army mate who was being posted back to the United Kingdom.

    “Then, she walked in with her sister Nora and three guys. And she took my breath away. I was just wowed.

    “They were dancing and I later found her sitting by herself. I asked her for a dance and we just clicked.

    “We danced to the song Wooly Bully by Sam the Sham & Pharaohs.”

    Wan Jamilah did not have to work as she came from a well-to-do family.

    He said: “Her father owned a successful taxi business. She had her own car and everything.”

    Despite authorities and society trying to keep them apart, after dating for five months they got engaged in October of the same year.

    Warren said: “Back then, it was rare to have mixed marriages as it was frowned upon. Also, it would have been selfish of me to uproot her, or so I told myself.

    “As soon as my superiors found out, they sent me to another army base in Kluang, Johor. A white man in the army was not allowed to marry a local back then.

    “I didn’t get out of the army until 1972, and was sent back to the UK where I talked myself into believing it was just destined not to be.”

    He said he regretted it bitterly, but when he eventually went back for a two-week holiday to try and track her down, it was too late as the family had moved and he had no way of finding them.

    Now retired however he wants to try and put that right saying: “I would really like to see her again.”

    Warren stayed in the army until 1972 and then started a job as a sales representative in England until 1979, and then moved to Scotland and taught people how to fish for 20 years until 1999. He then became a golf course manager until his retirement two-years-ago.

    He will be leaving Penang on March 23 and is devoting his time until then to try and find Wan Jamilah or her sister Nora.


    • Benjamin Lowe says:

      This missive is out of date and I hope you have found the lady. However, I do not know the ‘ins and outs’ of your situation regarding your service in Penang. Penang is quite a liberal island or State of Malaysia. Penang, like Malacca and Singapore, were known and are probably still known as the Straits Settlement. You did not mention what Corpse you were in as service personnel. I guess you were with the Royal Engineers. But I could be wrong. Nevertheless, I would shudder to think that your superiors moved you to Keluang off their own back if they knew you were having a relationship with a local. I guarantee you, it had to do with the girl’s parents when they found out her daughter’s relationship and specifically the engagement. The girl would not have known of their parent’s (father) complaint to your superiors and probably requested your superior to transfer you out of Penang and as far south of Malaysia. There is no such thing as a ‘white man’, in the army or any military service, even a civilian is not allowed to marry a local. My two sisters married two British Army service personnel in Malacca, one of them in 1963 and the other 1964. They both dated the ‘white man’ as you put it, for a year. There is no question in my mind, there was any repercussion from any locals or my family. I lived in a Malay Kampong (village) and 95% were Muslims. In general, a Muslim person in a relationship with a non-Muslims was frowned upon. But in Malaysia, a Muslim is free to marry anyone non-Muslim and he/she should become a Muslim before marriage. But I must say, becoming a Muslim is to ‘save face’ among their Muslim family, Muslim friends, local Mosque etc. The convert does not have to practice the faith but in name, eyes and minds of the Muslim people in Malaysia. There were many locals, Muslim and non-Muslim, in every state of Malaysia married to British Military personnel including British MoD Civilians working in Malaysia and Singapore. I am now in the UK and since I have been here I met hundreds of Malaysian married, pardon the pun, your ‘white man’. I have been to Malaysia three/four/five times a year since the ’80s. I usually meet Malaysian women and their husbands, Muslim or otherwise, on the same aircraft going on holidays with their wonderful permanent tanned skin family. Some with their married and their children. I hate to say this, but I will, I think you are looking for publicity and making a fool of yourself with your animosity. I just wondered why this is in the British media instead of the Malaysian Straits Times or even the Malaysia Newspaper Berita Harian. I am sure if any service or civilian personnel who married a Malaysian and happily married in the UK will love to comment on this post. Finally, I, a British Army Locally Enlisted Personnel (BALEP) from 1964 to 1971 married a ‘white woman’ service personnel in the WRAC back in 1971 in my home town Malacca. I dated her for more than 18 months. Every two weeks after I met her I took her to stay with my family and became engaged 18 months later and married her in Malacca in March 1971. My colleagues in the British Army have also married ‘white women’ and we are in contact. We have three wonderful children and are a very close family. My wife is a wonderful lady and we will be together forever and a day. I must say, mixed marriages usually produce intelligent and high earnings children. Personally, I did not have a formal education. Played truant and started working at 11 years old. It must have been my intelligence that remained non-active in my genes. Nevertheless, I got through the selective process to join the British Army and was in the Royal Signals. The genes must have ‘woken up’, so to speak, after remaining dormant when the children started nursery school.

  153. SCHELKIS says:

    My mother used to live in Tanglin in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s (I think). Beautiful part of Singapore

  154. Melanie Weiss (Ward) says:

    Is that Tracy

  155. Sherry Hingston née Abbott says:

    Does anyone remember the Abbott family? My parents had two girls Sherry and Sharon and then Shona and Sheena were born in Singapore. At that time we lived in Harding Road. We returned to Singapore on a second visit bringing along sister number five, Shane, who was born in Portsmouth. Somebody might remember us if only for the five girls names lol! We not only lived in Tangling but also Serangoon, Siak Won Close Panjang and Larong M, Katong

  156. Martin Harper says:

    I arrived in Singapore with my daily in September 1955, aged 7. We stayed for some time at 4 Tanglin Hill – initially in the boardin grouse and later in a bungalow in the grounds. Our houseboys were Ah Sing and Ah Boon.I went to Pasir Panjang School, and I remember Miss Dacey being my teacher. Later we moved to 5 Chelsea Road. I remember being in the cubs at Alexandra Barracks, the Singapore Swimming Club, the chapel at BMH Alexandra, and time spent on Blacka Matti island. We returned him in 1958.

  157. Sherry abbott says:

    I visited Dempsey Road in February after 60 years of living there. Unfortunately there was very little there. However the Catholic Church which used to be opposit our house was still standing but our old house was now a restaurant. It was lovely taking a trip down memory lane, seeing the botanical gardens, Tiger Balms Gardens, and our only house still standing in Siok Wan Close, Pasir Panjang. Here are some pictures I took. We also visited Battlebox and were able to see the waxwork figures that my husband helped to build 20 years ago. Not sure how to post the photos, perhaps someone can help me.

  158. Sue Maycock says:

    I would love to see your photos. I lived in Pasir Panjang too, half way up the hill in a hiring on stilts opposite the army flats. They were such magical times. We too used to go and walk round the Tiger Balm Gardens.

  159. Sherry Hingston née Abbott says:

    Would love to post the photos, but no idea how to.

  160. Sherry,
    send phot’s to the email reply to your last post and they will be posted on here.
    Has anyone got any photo’s of Pasir Panjang military cemetery ? been searching for years with no joy

  161. Posting the photos on behalf of Sherry 🙂

    My old house at 4 Siok Wan Close, Pasir Panjang. Was so excited to see it was still there.

  162. Sue Maycock says:

    How wonderful for you that the house you lived in is still there. Do you happen to know whether the Rest House at Tanglin (where we stayed before our first rental by the McRitchie Reservoir) is still there?
    That house was on a hill above Lornie Road and when I looked on Google Earth, it would appear to have been pulled down and a huge new road there instead.
    The house we lived in on the hill in Pasir Panjang has been demolished and the most hideous brick thing built on the plot, with other houses built right next to it further on round the corner, When we were there, there was nothing but countryside at the back of us and I used to listen to the night jar and the cicadas before going to sleep at night. We were also regularly visited by snakes that lived in the undercroft of the part of the house which was on stilts. As there was no glass in the windows, only wire, on occasion we used to watch the snakes winding their way up through the wire into the roof to get at the mice!!!

    • Laurence Skelton says:

      Sue – Did you also have the croaking of the bullfrogs? I had a fleeing cobra go over one of my bare feet, and played with a ‘nice beetle’, which turned out to be a scorpion. Gecko ‘chit-chat’ lizards running up the walls, regular hunts for cockroaches and their eggs, masses of mossies, and the occasional rat hunt. We also had a large python that used to sleep off it’s meals in a tree not far from our MQ in Tanglin Bks. We could see the botanical gardens from the front of our house.

      • Jennifer Grover says:

        Hi Laurence My name is Jennifer (Marsh as was) and I can relate entirely with your comments. We lived in Dempsey Road and had regular “visits” from various wildlife. The first evening after arriving in Singapore we were staying in The Seven Storeys Hotel and our room was covered in chit-chats. Not only did my poor dad have to try and cope with that but he had my mum sister and myself screaming our heads off thinking they would bite us. After moving into our house, a cobra decided to visit our garden and hang from the little living quarters/washing room where our Armah lived. Again poor Dad tried to protect us using one of his golf clubs. Happy days and what great childhood memories.

      • Sherry Hingston née Abbott says:

        We stayed in the seven storeys hotel too.

      • Jennifer Grover (Marsh) says:

        Hi Sherry we stayed at The Seven Stories on arrival in Singapore (1964) and again on departure (1966) just for a few days eachtime. I remember the bedroom was quite old and had a funny musty smell, which I have smelt since and taken me right back, and outside the bedroom window was a neon light flashing on and off all night. I also remember where we ate our meals which I am sure was partly in the open, and they would be served on huge silver trays and my Dad always had the curry which came with a dish of chopped goodies to sprinkle like cocoa nut and banana and sultanas. The hotel, I read years later, was famous because it didn’t actually have seven stories and when it was demolished the new one didn’t either but was still called the same.

      • Lesley Annable says:

        Lived in Singapore from 1963 to 1967. Lived with my patents in Serangoon from 1963 to 1965 when in April 1965 I joined the WRAC. Went to Alextandra Sec and the St John’s where Prince Philp opened our school. My friend Sally in the WRAC use to meet the families from the airport to take them to the The Seven Stories and she also meet them there to take them to the airport when it was time for them to go home. My family never stayed there when we first arrived in Singapore we stayed at a hotel in Orchard Road, 2 rooms with a curtain I between for a family of 6 people. Wouldn’t have changed anything. Have been back and about 10 or more years ago had a reunion with WRAC and some Signal lads and Sally and myself found,The Seven a Stories hotel, bought back lots of memories for Sally. When we were in the WRAC we were stationed at Tanglin Bks, so many, many wonderful memories.

      • Sue Maycock says:

        Laurence…yes bullfrogs, and a black cobra that was danced around by a cat thinking it was a mongoose. We went over to Kuching for a holiday on The Rajah Brook. They loaded eggs on board and had timed their hatching for during the journey, in the warmth of the hold. My brother and I therefore procured 2 tiny ducklings called Daggles and Yellow Duck. The steward brought us cooked rice and boiled eggs for them to eat until we returned to Singapore. They were the only thing we had to declare on docking!! They remained with us for the remainder of our posting, and we fed them brown rice and anything else that took their fancy. They knew the sound of the old fashioned ‘fridge door click from quite a distance away, and were very good monsoon drain cleaners of the algae that formed from the run off from our bathroom. On one occasion I picked up their feed dish to miss being stung by a small black scorpion by a whisker! We looked out over the sea and could watch not only the beautiful sun sets but also all of the shipping coming and going. The best time of my life.

    • Martin Harper says:

      I lived with my parents and younger brother at 4 Tanglin Hill, initially in the main house, but later in an adjacent small bungalow. I have pictures of our Christmas tree in 1956 – it looks like a number of lavatory brushes with large lights strung on it! There is a picture in the background painted by one of my Father’s subalterns, which now hangs on my dining room wall. We later moved to 5 Chelsea Road, Island View – now no longer there. From 1955 – 1958 I was at Pasir Panjang Junior School. I was also a Wolf Cub with 28th Singapore (Alexandra) group – my Father took on the role of Akela, and my Mother was Rikki. I still have my bob-a-job card from 1957! I also sang in the choir at the chapel at BMH Alexandra

      • richardharriscanveyisland says:

        Dies anyone have any photos of Pasir Pangjan military cemetery. Niether Army or Singapore archives have any

      • Here you go… A photo of Pasir Panjang Military Cemetery in 1955 when Prime Minister of New Zealand Sidney Holland visited and laid a wreath.

        (Photo credit: Ministry of Information and The Arts)

      • Benjamin Lowe says:

        Hi Lesley Annabel. just wondering when you said you joined the WRAC in 1965. Were you in the WRAC Blk at Tanglin sometime between March 1969 to March 1971? If so please do tell me.

      • Benjamin Lowe says:

        Hi Lesley, so sorry to post this. After my request, if you were in the WRAC Tanglin Barrack, between March 1969 and March 1971, I noticed you left Singapore in 1967.

      • Lesley says:

        Not too sure about your memory of the WRAC block, it was a single story building. We have just been back and it’s now a children’s nursery. I can put pictures on here. In fact there has never been a two story block, I think you must be thinking of somewhere else!!!!

      • Richard Abbott says:

        I too was a wolf cub with the 28th.. We use to sing, “2468 who do we appreciate, 2 and 8 28, Singapore hooray” 1953-56.

      • Martin Harper says:

        I still have my bob-a-job card in English and Malay! I also have several photos of the Scout Hut and cubs.

  163. Sherry abbott says:

    It’s a shame that so many memories have been knocked down, but we just have to remember the good times and when I look back I am so thankful that I spent time as a child growing up in the old Singapore, it was the best time of my life and although I like the Singapore of today I look at it as a different country and not the Singapore I knew and loved.

  164. Laurence Skelton says:

    Sherry – Yes, the Singapore I recall from late 1949 until early 1952 was very different from the Singapore of today – the same can be said of Hong Kong circa 1955-1958 compared to today. I still have photos to assist my aging memories, thankfully.

  165. Bianca Cosans says:

    Hi Martin,

    My name is Bianca Cosans (nee Thomas) and, a little after your time, I also lived in 5, Chelsea Road!
    My father was a Major in the 2nd 2nd Gurkha Rifles and we lived in Singapore for a few years from 1967.
    I am passing through Singapore now and tried to find the house but had no luck. The land around has been reclaimed and there is a huge University complex in and around Chelsea Road. Still it was good to see the space where I did a bit of my growing up.
    I came across this post when I was researching maps of where Chelsea Road would have originally been.

    • Martin Harper says:

      Hi Bianca

      My father was also a Major, but in the Royal Artillery. We had a great time in Chelsea Road – I lived with my parents and younger brother Peter. We had a Amah, who lived in the small bungalow in the garden with her son, a Chinese laundry girl who came in every week and a Batman. As children we would play in the scrubland around Clementi Road, making small shelters out of corrugated iron, and cooking bacon on a small home made stove. The temperature inside this shelter was extremely hot! We also walked down to a small Zoo on the coast off Panjang Road, which had a few miserable specimens in it and a mad cassowary that occasionally caused havoc and caused the owners to shut the zoo for the day. My brother and myself were allowed to sit on the stairs of the house when my father entertained his subalterns, watching them arrive in their best dress uniforms. Great times! I hope your stay at 5 Chelsea View was as much fun!


  166. I P L Png says:

    Great site!

    This afternoon, I drove to Tanglin hoping to see the old British NCOs Mess — a tall building with about ten storeys off Loewen Road near the soccer pitch which the SAF converted to the “new” Tanglin Officers Mess. Couldn’t find the building. Does anyone know what became of it?

    • Lesley Annable says:

      Are you sure it was a 10 storey building there were never tall storey buildings until recently

      • I P L Png says:

        Yes. About 10 storeys and fairly modern (unlike the other buildings in the Minden/Loewen/Dempsey area) built in the late 1960s?

      • Lesley Annable says:

        I left Singapore at the beginning of 1967 and I know a lot happened after I left

  167. Janet says:

    I was stationed in Tanglin Barracks with 4 Indep Coy WRAC from June 1962 until 10
    February 1964 and worked in Stats and Records Office. I left the WRAC on marriage (we were married at Fort Canning Registry Office in January 1964) and lived with my husband down Orchard Road until we went back to the UK in May 1965 and our daughter was born in January 1966. In May 1967 we again were posted to Singapore this time to 99 Ghurkha Infantry Brigade Group Military Police. Our son was born in BMH Alexandria. The last time we saw Singapore was in 2013. It was lovely to see the country.

  168. John Beresford says:

    Hello everyone, what wonderful memories and stories you have shared! I was in Singapore as a child from 1957 to 1960. Dad was in the Pay Corps. We lived on Sussex Estate and I went to Pasir Panjang Primary School. I am returning to Singapore for a week in October, and would love to stand and stare at some of the locations I remember. Of course I expect none of it now looks the same! I have found old maps showing Sussex Estate, but I’m not sure I have located the school. Can anyone pinpoint it for me please? Thanks.

    • Allan Ang says:

      Pasir Panjang Primary School was shut down in 1986 but the entire premises still remain. It is currently being used as a drug (addicts) rehabilitation centre called Breakthrough Missions. You can locate it through Google Map by typing “Breakthrough Missions” or “24 Yew Siang Road, Singapore 117758”, the latter being the address. Go to their website at: http://www.breakthroughmissions.org.sg to see a 360 degrees virtual tour of the premises. Hope these bits of information help.

      • Thanks, Allan. To confuse matters, there were two Pasir Panjang Primary Schools, the one you describe and an Army school on Portsdown Road near the Wessex Estate, which is now the Tanglin Trust school. I went to the Army one.

  169. Dinah Sinnock says:

    Hi I have just discovered this page. My parents Tony & Rosemary Angelo-Thomson had their wedding reception at the Tanglin Barracks in March 1948. I am trying to find out if this was where my father was stationed. He was with the Royal Fusiliers and if anyone might remember him and where we might have lived. We left Singas in December 1951 but have been back twice and coming again in June this year and would really love some more info. Many thanks and most appreciated.

    • Ann Hewlett new Brennan says:

      I think the Royal Fusilliers were in Singapore from August 1948.
      We lived in Singapore, arriving in January 1952. Sailing in on the Chusan. My father Bill Brennan was a Physical Training Instructor. My mum Helen, myself Ann aged 3, brother Mike aged 12 and brother Ray aged 5. Does anyone remember us.
      We lived in Sterling Road,
      You must have left just as we arrived.

      • Dinah Sinnock says:

        Hi I think they must have been there before that as he met my mother in 1946 and they were married in March 1948. Winchester Road sort of rings a bell too as to maybe that is where we lived.

  170. Benjamin Lowe says:

    Eeeeeeeeeeh………? You mean 10 stories after the British withdrawal and handed over Tanglin to the Singapore govt. There were no ten stories building at HQ Tanglin. A modern building and a hotel in Tanglin had ten upper stories. It was built in the early to mid-1960s. If my mind serves me correctly, it was Hotel Malaysia and within three years The Marco Polo group purchased the hotel and changed its name to Marco Polo. It was a curved shaped building in line with the massive Tanglin Circus (roundabout). In the centre of the circus, a large fountain. I spent many an evening with the staff at their canteen to the rear of the building. It was the first hotel with a swimming pool at the uppermost building. Guest dining at the lower part where a restaurant was located can view swimmers in the pool through a plate glass window. I believe the tallest building was the WRAC Sargeant’s mess in Tanglin HQ at that time. It had 5 stories and located at the lower landscape behind the Junior ranks of the WRAC. The Junior WRAC ranks lived in a two-story block and its height is the same height as the 5 stories WRAC Sargeant’s Blk. There were almost if not more than 270 WRAC’s living in the Tanglin. There were other two story-blocks alongside the WRAC, Separate Block for the WRAC MPs, Australian women army and New Zealand women army. I know, I spent many an evening at the WRAC TV room in the 2nd storey. block. I ended marrying a WRAC.

  171. Martin Heath says:

    Does anyone have any idea where chival court is or was in singapore in the 1950’s , my dad was stationed there and that was were his married quarters were , unfortunately he passed away but I’m going there soon and would like to scatter some of his ashes
    He was based there between 1954/1961

  172. Pauline says:

    I lived at 31 Harding Road from 1964 to 1966. Attended Alexander primary school and Bourne high school. Many happy memories apart from the bombing by Indonesia.

  173. Batuo says:

    Unless, I missed any, I did not notice any posting from WRAC Personnel, who served their time in Singapore at Tanglin HQ, between 1968 and 1971. I was the ration Cpl for the kitchen for the WRAC single personnel and had spent many evenings at their Naafi.

    • Stephanie Auld says:

      hi, would you have known Alexander Murray, Irish regiment? From Scotland with curly ginger hair? This is my father and dates correlate from when he was serving. Would love any info, thank you.

  174. Arthur Poole says:

    I was station in Tanglin Barracks with the RASC 1955/57 working in GHQ FARELF offices. Went back for a holiday Feb 2019 things have change so much.I was doing my National Service and had many great times with the lads at Union Jack Club and Brittania Club.At 83years those memories never fade

    • Richard Abbott says:

      My dad was a staff officer at GHQ FARELF. 1953-55. we were there again in 1957-59.. I remember the Nuffield Club, it had a swimming pool and was not far from the Padang. How Singers has changed.

  175. Stephanie Auld says:

    Hi, what can you tell me about the Irish Regiment based in Singapore in the 60’s please? My father was stationed here but I don’t know much about it and would like as much information as possible please. His name was Alexander Mair Buchanan McLeod Murray and stopped serving 70/71, he is Scottish and had curly ginger hair. Thank you in advance.

    • Benjamin says:

      Hi Stephanie, I think the Irish Regiment was disbanded in 1922 according to its history. However, I did search my mind to recall if I did come across before I looked for its history.

      • Lesley says:

        Stephanie I was stationed in Singapoe at Tanglin in the 60’s but I not remember an Irish Regiment at all. I was in the WRAC

      • Stephanie Auld says:

        Hi, i had gotten it wrong, he was actually in the Gordon’s but served in singapore and Ireland, thank you

  176. paul r ripley says:

    Paul Ripley. I was a Corporal stationed in Tanglin from 1967 to 1969. I lived in what we called the Elephant Shelters. We were a mixed bunch of UK, Australian, New Zealand soldiers and RAF and RN personell. Our purpose was to provide the necessary lower orders to ensure all the vast amount of officers in GHQ could justify their existence. I was in Engineer Branch with 1 sapper, 2 corporals One Australian one UK, I Staff Sergeant one Warrant Officer Class 1, One Warrant Office Class 2 Australian 6 Majors UK, One Major Australian a Lt Col and a Brigadier. I have no idea what they did. I was chauffeured round various military units in Singapore in a staff car delivering urgent messages to other exalted beings of high rank. The only important job I was allowed to perform was to turn over the slides on a overhead projector as the Defence Minister Dennis Healey gave a presentation to the assorted dignitaries, and a humble corporal, that the UK was pulling out of Singapore and Malaysia.
    I had a great time when not saving western civilisation. My sister was a QARANC corporal at Alexandra hospital during my stay. Consequently I had many great friends amongst those wonderful young women. I played rugby, football (both very badly), drank copious amounts of Tiger, made regular visits to Bugis Street, made great mates with the Aussies and Kiwis, holidayed in Malaysia, Penang and Malacca, went in the jungle with the Singapore Engineer Squadron, has 2 trips to Hong Kong and have been thankful to Her Majesty for the great time I had at no expense to myself. I can’t think of anything else to thank her for?
    I’ve been back twice, it’s changed probably for the better. The people of Singapore are healthier, very good looking and prosperous. The old tawdry charm of Singapore has gone for the better. I still wonder why I was sent from a sensible job in Germany for a 3 year tropical holiday. The cold war was real, Singapore was magical.

  177. Brian Phillips says:

    Its great to have found this site. I commenced National Service at Catterick and from 4TR i arrived in Singapore Aug/Sept 1951 via HMT Dunera to be billeted with S’Pore Dist. Signal Regt at Calcutta Camp. We wore the Lion and Palm Tree shoulder patch. We were driven to Fort Canning each day on Teleprinter duty to communicate with units up country in Malaya. Later in 52 we were the first unit to move into the newly built Princess Mary Barracks. Luxury after living in tents prior. Regarding the Cemetery at Pasir Panjang my only memory being that our young pay L.Cpl was accidently shot dead while handing in his revolved at the camp and was originally buried there. Now probably reburied at Kranji. I remember Sandys home where I almost drowned in the pool when my pal failed to hold me up while teaching me to swim.. Does anyone remember the popular saying among the lads for those due for return to the UK – “One more day and an early breakfast”.. Many of us probably never realised at the time how lucky we were to serve in such a pleasant land’ and its people. 22442400 B D Phillips R-SIGS (Retired) ps Should any from the old Calcutta Camp still remember, I was the one who played the Trumpet.

  178. elliekiloh says:

    I currently live in one of the houses on Ridley Park – the loop road between the old hospital on Loewen Road and Tanglin Road. Does anyone know anything about those houses? Who used to live there? I’ve been through all the comments but no one mentions living in Ridley Park. They are now very quiet with big gardens, lots of jungle and a few snakes.

    • Ann Hewlett says:

      Hi, I lived in Singapore as a child. My father Bill Brennan was a PTI. We sailed on the Chusan from Southampton to singapore in 1952 many years ago now. I know for sure we lived in Sterling Road, it was Nee Soon or Tangling.
      Not sure if that’s anywhere near where your talking about. I would love to know for sure if anyone can help it would be lovely.
      Ann (nee Brennan)

  179. They were, without question, the finest barracks I ever lived in during my entire service in the British army

  180. Ruth Adams says:

    Any pictures of Tanglin WRAC Singapore 1966/7

  181. Richard William Abbott says:

    My dad was stationed at Tanglin. in the early to mid 1950’s. It was known as GHQ FARELF. He was a staff officer working on the records. I remember the roundabout. We first lived in the Cainhill Road, then the Ayer Rajah road opposite BMH Alexandra. On his second tour we lived in Clemenceau Avenue, he then worked at Fort Canning I use to go to Alexandra school. I remember the AKC Sampan cinema, it was air conditioned and seeing the film “The Kings Thief” there. Oddly enough when I joined the Army, I use to work for the AKC then SKC. I have such fond memories of Singapore, how it has all changed.

  182. Alan Greenwood says:

    I have just found this site and as i am researching my fathers career would like to ask if anyone out there remembers Ssgt William Greenwood, RSC/REME stationed in Singerpore and Johor Bahru 55-60. I was 5 years old and started school there. During my time there i fell into a Monsoon drain and split my head open whilst waiting for my sister Val to come out of a party. Small chance i know but would like to know if anyone remembers our family.

  183. Richard Abbott says:

    All these comments bring back so many happy memories of Singapore. We went out on HMT Empire Windrush, came back on a German ship the MV Hessesstein, due to the Suez problem we had to come back around the Cape in South Africa. We went out the second time on the Empire Fowey, then came back on the Oxfordshire, sister ship to the Nevasa. Our first tour was 1953-56, second tour 1957-59 when dad took seriously ill. We first stayed at the Shamrock Hotel just off Orchard Road, then moved to private flats in Cairnhill Road. We also lived in the hutted splits off the Ayar Rajag road opposite the BMH Alexandra, then Clemenceau Avenue. In those days you could only get to Blankang Mati island by boat. I still can pick out the colonial buildings, the cricket club. There were no skyscrapers then. I also remember the civilian cinemas of the Odeon, Capitol and the bug hutch Pavillion. I also remember all the places that is talked about here, and as for the food, ah well second to none.

    • Martin Harper says:

      Is a 10 year old, I came back from Singapore on The Oxfordshire in 1958. We had gone out on the Lancashire in 1956. I remember BMH Alexandra very well – I sang in the choir in the chapel there. I spent a lot of time on Blakang Mate – as you say, the only way to get there was by boat, either by Sampan or Landing Craft. As youngsters, we spent many a happy time being entertained by my Father’s Gurkha driver, known as Happy, driving about in Scout cars and Ferret Cars, diving for coral, feeding the monkeys, and sometimes going by boat around Raffles lighthouse.

  184. patthebrit says:

    Change Alley, Haw Par Villa, Raffles, we loved our stay 1953 to 1957. Lived on Railway Hill.

  185. patthebrit says:

    I am sure I would not recognize it any more, but I have lovely memories. We lived at 18 Railway Hill and the Regos were our neighbors. Lovely family.
    I would love to see photos of Railway Hill in the 1950s if anyone has any to post

  186. Patricia Boyd says:

    Patricia Boyd (nee Allcock) says:
    March 12,2022 at 1700

    I happened upon this site last week.

    My father, the late ex Warrant Officer, Harry Maxwell Allcock, (Max to his friends), served in Singapore in the 1950s. I do not know what date he arrived there, but I think it could have been during 1956. My mother, Elsie (now deceased) travelled out with me on the liner Willem Ruys, and I believe that could have been the last troop ship through the Suez Canal prior to the crisis in 1956. In Singapore we lived at 20 Railway Hill, and I have some old photographs showing the house which I will try to copy and forward to this site to be published.

    My father sadly died in Singapore on 21st March 1958. He was buried in either Ulu Pandan or Pasir Panjang cemetery – unfortunately I cannot verify which one, but I do have photographs of his military funeral service. His ashes now lie in the cemetery at Kranji and I was able to visit there several years ago.

    As I was only just over 3 years old when my father died, I only have photographic memories of him. I would love to know if there is anyone who may have heard of him.

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