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Royal Navy in Singapore

From Valerie Wells

I learned sadly that Whacker (who befriended many of us in the Naval Base) died yesterday 26-11-2015.  My family knew him well in 1955-58 when he was my brother Barry's friend, seen dining with us in Singapore in one picture, with me, my brother Barry and my mum And dad about 1957.  I met up with Whacker on my return to Singapore in February 2013 and again in June 2013 see photo,  I am on the right, with Whacker and Pat Alexander on the left.

 Whacker was founded president of the Singapore Swimming Teachers Association

 Many tributes paid to him on his Facebook page under Foo Chee Han.

 A legend never forgotten by all ex pats who knew him.

More reading on Foo Chee Han - 'Whacker'


My thanks to John Blyth for these photos.  John along with his sister Elaine, lived in the Royal Naval Base at Sembawang from 1964 to 1967.

48 Hobart Road shows me in my cub uniform with dad’s Hillman Minx (Robert Blyth) and our house 68 Falkland Road in the background. The dog was Nobby. We adopted him when someone left Singapore to go back to the UK.

Dockyard Swimming Pool shows me and my sister

SpringDale Fishing Pond shows Dad, Elaine and Me. I remember great big red ants that nipped used to walk along the railings

CC Dept Dance is dated December 1966 and my mum (Nancy) and dad are front right with Jessie and Jimmy Birnie front left

The SVSO Dance was dated December 1966. Robert and Nancy Blyth are front on the left. My mum worked in the Victualling and Stores Offices in the Dockyard. Dad was an engineer on a tug called the Nimble.

St. Andrew’s Youth Club has me and my sister seated front left with the Minister at the back and leader Ian on the left

St Andrews Church Youth Club On HMS Eagle

Front row, second left is Jock Laidlaw, and back row first left is Bryan Allan.

St. Andrew’s Church shows the cover of what was the order of service for 18 December 1966. It was in this church that a childhood myth was shattered when my sister told me that Santa didn’t exist!

St Andrews Church RN Naval Base Singapore

Nimble RN Dockyard Singapore Mid 60's

Dad worked on the Tug Nimble as an Engineer. Myself (John) and my sister Elaine Blyth are seen on the Nimble.


Butcher Delivering Singapore Dockyard Mid 60's.  Mum loved all the deliveries that made life so much easier

Me and my sister waiting for the school bus. We lived in Jalan Malu Malu outside the Naval Base before going to Hobart Road and then Falkland Road.


Cattle sauntering down the road!

Jalan Malu Malu.  Sep 65


What would we have done without Wong! Mum was a traditional housewife  in Scotland, and took well to having an Amah. She had a tremendous shock when we returned in October 1967 when dad was posted back to Rosyth Naval Base. No Amah in Scotland!

Singapore Dockyard Swimming Club.

The older lady is thought to be Tom Young's Grandmother

 Jack And The Beanstalk

 Jack And The Beanstalk

 Jack And The Beanstalk

Remember Tri Shaws?

Elaine & John Singapore Tri Shaw Mid 60's

Party At 68 Falkland Road Singapore Sept 67

Left to right – Flo Slora, Agnes Blyth, Sheila Henry, ?, George Scoble, ?


Mum And Friends

Left to right – Agnes Blyth is in the middle. Just look at that TV.


Party Dockyard Club Singapore May 66

Left to right front – Flo Slora, Agnes Blyth, Sheila Henry, Bob Blyth, Jessie Birnie?, Jim Birnie, ?  At the back Left to right – Jim Henry, Doris, ?, ?, ?

Singapore Dockyard Club 31Dec64

Left to right – Harry Slora, Ron, Flo Slora, Gaynor, Bob (Robert) Blyth, Nancy (Agnes) Blyth, Alf Merryweather and Isobel Merryweather

Party May 66

Left to right - ?, Bob Blyth, Doris, Linda, Jim Henry, Sheila Henry,?,? Agnes Blyth


RN Infants School Sports Day

My sister (Elaine Blyth) is second from the right (i.e. last!) in this shot at the RN School (Infants) inside the Naval Base

Playing in the Naval Base. I think a friend called Gordon Birnie had a birthday party that day

Robinson Store Singapore

Robinsons was a well known store in Singapore city amongst Dockyard residents but I believe it burnt down in a fire

Dance Invites Singapore HM Dockyard

Constructors Dance Invite

Lido Cinema Singapore

One of the cinemas in Singapore city that Dad and Mum would take us kids to

Singapore Swimming Club Jan 65

Me and my sister in the smaller pool. As kids we loved the Singapore Swimming Club and the Dockyard Pool. After we returned to the UK we had some holidays in Scarborough but somehow, the open air pool in Scarborough just didn’t have the warm weather to go with it.


Many thanks to Anna Googan for these photographs taken in the '60s of Naval Base personnel.

The only information we have on this photo is some writing on the back which says - Mr Googan TG3 (C/M of Shipfitters) Prom (C).  I also noticed that there is one small lady in the centre of the picture.


The same photo thanks to Julie Ivens

 This photo is of the Chief Constructors Dept.  (Naval Base circa 1968). This one is where my dad,  Bill Sugrue, had written out many of the names.

Farewell party for Mr & Mrs Melville on 30-12-1966

No information on this one other than it was at the Tai Tong Restaurant.

c1968 naval base dockyard departmental toast

naval base dockyard social c1968 

Many thanks to Chris Elsden for this photo of his band playing in the Naval
Base at the Dockyard Club Christmas Dance Dec 1966.  Chris was in Singapore form April 1964 to January 1967.
Chris Elsden and Band - Dockyard Club, December 1966.

From Left. Dave Black and a few too many Tigers. Chris, Les Beckwith, Ron
Smith, Roger Spencley.

My thanks to Bernard Mennell for this photo.  Bernard said in his email "I notice that your fascinating site has no reference to the Civilian Messes in the Naval Base where single/unaccompanied staff lived.  I had a wonderful time living briefly in No 2 Mess in Mata Road from Dec 1970 to March 1971 - the photograph shows the main living quarters with part of one of the Accommodation Blocks. Half a mile away next to Beaulieu House was No 1 Mess, that accommodated more senior staff and was reputedly less fun!  Both closed in October 1971. The area is now Sembawang Park but there is no trace of either Mess.  I don't know how many such civilian Messes there once were, but the official 1968 plan of HM Naval Base identifies a No 6 Mess in Jamaica Road."


My thanks to John Mitchell, who served in the Electrical Dept of Singapore Dockyard and Sembawang Shipyard from 1967 to 1970, for these two photos.  John Mitchells' three children Susan, Julie and John attended the RN Naval Base School, Susan went on to Bourne.  They lived initially in Sembawang Springs then inside the Naval Base.


Our Amah, Amoy, and her daughter Lai Fong (Moi Moi), at Lagos Circle.  We would dearly like to hear something regarding Amoy or Lai Fong.  Amoy had two other children (both boys).

Lai Fong (Moi Moi), please contact me again regarding this photo


Mobile Barber

The mobile barber cutting our son Johns' hair in Jalan Salang

See also these pages with a Naval connection: Tim Brown  Sue Watts  Junior & Infant Schools

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