Back in S'pore to learn about uncle's WWII experience

It is good to be back in Singapore. All the more so in the month of Remembrance Day, when Australians remember all our soldiers who died in wars.

My uncle Geoff Allanson was in Singapore in 1941 with Australian troops seeking to repel a Japanese invasion.

When the Malayan campaign failed and Singapore fell to the Japanese, he became a prisoner of war (POW) along with all the other Commonwealth troops who surrendered. He eventually died a POW in Japan in 1943.

I am wondering what my uncle's experiences of Singapore would have been in 1941. Because he didn't return to tell us, we have only a sketchy idea of what they were.

He was a young man in his early twenties then. Singapore would have been his first overseas trip and, for him, a grand adventure. If he was able to savour the delights of colonial Singapore, it would have been very short-lived.

Do any Straits Times readers have any impressions of the Australian military presence here in the early 1940s? If so, I would be most interested to hear them.

I can be reached at

Terry Hewton

Adelaide, South Australia

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.