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Pasir Panjang Junior School

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Many thanks to Bill Johnston for these photos and images.  Bill taught at Pasir Panjang Junior School, Singapore (which became Wessex Junior School) from 1963 to 1969.

Pasir Panjang Juniors - Class 2A 1964

Class 2A 1964. Some of my class of amazing bright and happy second-year juniors. Julia White is in the foreground with her lovely smile.

Pasir Panjang Juniors - Class 2A 1964

Class 2A 1964. Another section of the class, featuring Judith Beeston, Stuart Parkinson, Jenny Tippett-Iles, Wendy Haugh and Dave Robinson.

Pasir Panjang Juniors - Class 2A 1964

Class 2A 1964. Paul Revell, Martin Harwood and Joan Kent are on the right.

Friday Recorder Group: The sweet sound of the 91 members of my beginners' recorder group was not appreciated by the rest of the staff so we were banished to practise in the infant school hall across the field.

1st Football Team 1969

the only boy I remember is Martin Cowley, fourth from left in the front row. This was a highly successful team: look at the trophies they won in 1969!


2nd Football Team 1969

Sadly none of the faces brings back the name!

1st Netball Team 1969

the only girl I remember is Jennifer Ridge (3rd from left, back row), eldest daughter of John Ridge, the art teacher.

Helen Walkerdene has identified herself on the back row far right.  She said "Far left back row I believe is Mary Bowes, Beverley ???, then Jennifer Ridge and then me.  Front row holding the ball possibly Lynne Gentry??"

2nd Netball Team 1969

How sad! All the faces are so familiar but I can't remember any of the names.

Lesley Saunders has identified herself as being at the back, left side.

2nd Netball Team 1966

Front row is Susan Haywayd, Diane and Wendy Haugh.

Mr Webb and class in hall

Mr Tony Webb came to Singapore in 1964 and taught first at Alexandra Junior School under the indomitable Mrs Bosewell before coming to Wessex. He became Deputy Head, and, later, Head at the school in Penang. He is well and we meet with the Johnses every year in Spain.

Julia White

Class 2A at Pasir Panjang, 1964, showing the uniform and the PPJS badge based on 'Jimmy', the Royal Signals mascot as we were the responsibility of 18th Signal Regiment.

Wessex Junior School - News Board

Wessex News Board

 As each of the 27 Changi Bus Co (later, military buses) drew up at the steps to the school, children read my message board updated daily with vital information and frivolous drawings. (Someone else photographed the board and the picture appeared on the back of Tommy Atkins's Children, a history of army children's schools.

The first two are scenes from the annual Pasir Panjang Junior School Swimming Gala, probably 1965. It was held at the pool in Gillman Barracks, where Alexandra Secondary Modern School was situated, until the new sports complex on Dover Road opened.

Leslie Rutledge has identified himself as the diver in this photo.  Leslie said, "The event was actually May/June 1964 and I do believe the last time the gala was held at Gillman barracks as the new Dover road pool had just opened."

A nice shot of the main buildings at PPJS with a class returning to its classroom after assembly

In the afternoons the school became a Malay school for the children of Malay soldiers in the British army. They used all the classrooms and you can just make out the girls in their ankle-length blue 'cassocks' with long white 'surpilces' over them.

Picture shows some of my top, brilliant recorder group in 1965. Four of the girls in the front row are Susan Hayward, Susan Ridge, Judith Beeston and Jenny Tippett-Iles. The last two have got in touch since I sent in an earlier picture and the three of us met at my home in April, reminiscing and nattering for almost 6 hours. We ended the meeting by playing one of the recorder tunes they performed at the concert pictured!

Christine Harral has been in touch, and identified herself as being on the front row 3rd from the left.

Recorder Group Reunion

On 28th August 2014 I met four of my former recorder players in London and we had a great day together.  The picture shows me (of course) and Christine Harrall, Jane Edge, Jenny Tippett-Iles and Judith Beeston (all their maiden names).

Mr Brian Johns

Mr Brian Johns, another good friend of Bill, taught at Pasir Panjang from 1964 and became deputy head at Nee Soon in 1969. He also was a talented artist and designed the lovely little cameo pictures that accompanied reports of school activities in the magazines.

A visitor from the skies and this gives a good view of the school, including the 'bungalow' classrooms at the end of the field.

Tony Webb and a colleague experimenting with a hot air balloon. Look at those girls standing on the railing: wouldn't be allowed, under Health and Safety, nowadays! That's Peter Drury up there with them and the deputy Head, Gwyn Jones, walking away but still watching.

The school swimming team after a success at Dover Road pool.

Brigadier Stanley Mullen is seen presenting awards to the Wessex football stars in, I believe, 1968, with the Head, Mr Vernon, sorting the trophies. Brigadier Mullen instigated the annual Services Drama Festival and that year my wife and I attended every production, Army, RAF and Naval Base, on the night he gave his adjudication

Here, in colour, is an earlier swimming gala held before the Dover Road complex was finished. This is the pool at Gillman Barracks, which actually gave the spectators a better view of everything

There goes the Duke of Edinburgh! He came to Singapore in 1965 or 1966 and, though he visited the 'rivals' at Alexandra Junior School, his entourage didn't stop as it passed Pasir Panjang.

Another of my famous recorder groups. Christine Harral, seated third from the left, and I met for the first time in 44 years on 2nd March 2012 and had so much to catch up with over lunch that we spent three delightful hours together. Others in the group are Joanne Green, first on left in front row; Mandy Poole (I think) fourth; and, standing, two of John Ridge's daughters, Jennifer and Susan

The lady who made up school uniforms asked me to take this picture for her advertisement in the school magazine. The two 'models' are Sharon Whatley aged 8, and Linda Kelly. There's my famous bulletin blackboard in the background . . .

. . . and here it is in all its glory, with an admiring group!

Another colour picture, of my classroom on the first storey of the main block with me in traditional 'uniform'. These upper classrooms were cooler than those downstairs and mine had a little window at the other end through which I could show 35mm films from a projector in the adjoining store room. I borrowed films from the British Council

Here's a picture from a Christmas 1968 concert, with Gwyn Jones conducting the choir. It's a good view of the stage, which was later used as the centre of the school library. My recorder group sits, poised for action

Mr John Ridge

Mr John Ridge, a close friend of Bill, taught Art at Alexandra SM (later Bourne) School and became Head of Art at St John's in Dover Road. He designed the covers of the three Pasir Panjang Magazines and contributed many illustrations within.

 Bourne school 1965 magazine cover


Bourne School 1967 magazine cover

 Bourne school 1967 magazine cover

Changi Grammar School 1965 magazine cover

Changi Grammar School 1965 magazine cover

Naval Base School 1969 magazine cover

Naval Base School 1969 magazine cover

Pasir Panjang School 1965 magazine cover

Pasir Panjang School 1965 magazine cover

Bill produced Pasir Panjang and Wessex Magazines from 1964 to 1969.

Pasir Panjang School 1966 magazine cover

Pasir Panjang School 1966 magazine cover

Pasir Panjang School 1967 magazine cover

Pasir Panjang School 1967 magazine cover

Wessex 1968 magazine cover

Wessex Magazine 1968

Wessex Magazine 1969

My thanks to Jenny Tippett-Iles for this photo

Pasir Panjang School photo circa 1964 (Jenny is fourth in from the left front row)

Shows Portsdown Road at the end of the school day with a Malay soldier doing traffic control, and some of the 27 buses that came to pick up the widely scattered children of Pasir Panjang Junior School.

The same view taken in 2009 by Bill Johnston.

The school in the background now is Tanglin Trust, a very large, now all age, private school.

Taken in 2009 a photo of one of the three storey flats on the Wessex Estate, that were once married quarters for British Servicemen and their families.

Two formal class photos from Mal Baxter and one each from Jackie Robinson and Martin Bagwell

Wessex Junior School 1969

Wessex Juniors 1969

Many thanks to Mal Baxter for sending in these two photos of his classes at the Wessex Junior School.  Mal is in the centre of the back row.

Wessex Junior School 1970

Wessex Juniors 1970

Mal is 4th left centre row.  Mal does not remember the class years or any of the names of his fellow pupils.  He does remember that the teacher was Mrs Mackie - who he describes as 'a lovely Scottish teacher'.

Wessex Juniors 1970

Many thanks to Jackie Robinson for this photo believed to have been taken in 1970.

Wessex Juniors 1970/71

Many thanks to Martin Bagwell for this photo.  Martin is on the back row on the far right.  If you recognise yourself in this photo, let me know.

My thanks to Glen Baker for this photo.  Glen said in his email "I lived in Singapore in 1961-1962 and was a student at Pasir Panjang Junior school. I was in grade two and my next oldest brother was in grade four. My teacher was a wonderful lady by the name of Miss Coates. What great memories I have of that short year. I have included a picture of my class from that year. I am on the far left in the third row. "

Elizabeth Webster, Elizabeth and Kathy Hodgson back garden Deal Rd, Medway Park.  Elizabeth Webster is trying to find her friend Elizabeth Hodgson and believes she went to Pasir Panjang Junior School, does anybody recognise her, she's the one with the cat. Is anybody in contact with Elizabeth Hodgson or her family?

My thanks to Kevin Galfskiy for his class photo with teacher Mrs Newman.  Kevin said "I am the Fourth one from the right on the back row and can remember Trevor to the right of me who originated from Queensland in Australia and Gary Turner from England who stands second from the right on the back row too"

Kevins' other photos can be viewed in the  Photo Gallery

My thanks to Isabelle Staveley (formally Crean) for these photos. Isabelle said in her email, "I am in the middle front of the Infant one and the middle back row of the Junior one. I think they must be sometime between 1967 and 1970. I'm afraid I don't know anyone else, not even the teachers!"

Wessex Infants

Isabelle Crean, front row middle

Wessex Juniors

Isabelle Crean, back row middle
My thanks to Ian Mackins for these photos. Ian said "Photos of our stay in Singapore 1953 era. We were there for about 3 years. My father J.W.Mackins and mother G. Mackins. Father was a Warrant Officer at the time in the R.O.A.C."  These are just four of the photos, 32 more of Ian's photos are in the Photo Gallery.
Newspaper article on new school

new school - newspaper clip
Alexandra School and Dog

Alexandra School and dog
Opening of Alexandra School

Lady O'Carroll-Scott opening new school
Sports Day Alexandra Junior School

Me sucking thumb -sports day -Alexandra School

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