Singapore had only about 1,000 soldiers at independence in 1965. In the late 1960s, after the British decided to withdraw its troops from Singapore, the Government implemented a conscription programme. The National Service (Amendment) Bill was passed on March 14, 1967, making national service (NS) compulsory for all 18-year-old male Singapore citizens and permanent residents. About 9,000 men born between Jan 1 and June 30, 1949, became the first batch to be called up. While 900 were enlisted in the Singapore Armed Forces for full-time NS, the rest served part-time in the People’s Defence Force, the Vigilante Corps and the Special Constabulary. Full-time NS was extended to the Singapore Police Force in 1975 and Singapore Civil Defence Force in 1981. Pictures curated by Simon Ker, Lim Yeong Yeong and Doris Goh. Photographs can be purchased from the Information Resource Centre, tel: 63195726, 63195508
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