His Life


The origin of the Volunteers was in Britain's major conflicts of the 19th and early 20th centuries - the Crimean War led to the enrolment in 1854 of the original Singapore Volunteer Rifle Corps with its proud motto 'In Oriente Primus', and the Boer War of 1899-1902 further stimulated the Volunteer movement with the formation of the Malay States Volunteer Rifles. In 1888 the Singapore Volunteer Artillery Corps was formed. The outbreak of World War 1 in August 1914 led to an immediate and rapid increase in the enrolment of Volunteers who the following year took part in the suppression of the Sepoy Mutiny in Singapore.

Again Volunteers answered their country's call in the years running up to World War 2, particularly after the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939. They came from all nationalities and walks of life in the pre-war peninsula known as British Malaya. The Volunteers were not only Europeans, but Malays, Chinese, Indians and Eurasians. They came from all branches of the Malayan Government Service, from the Mines and Plantations, from the business communities, from the Medical Profession and from the Church. Many other civilians who would have joined the Volunteers, were prevented from doing so because they were in so-called 'reserved occupations' considered essential for the continued smooth running of the country. Whatever their background, they were motivated by a profound sense of wanting to do everything in their power to defend the Crown Colony of Malaya and her dependents.