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Family Memories 1950's

We have received some wonderful images of Malaya and Borneo sent to us by Sue Brooks (see her message and image on the main Memories page which Sue sent in response to Lennie Brookes' memories). Sue was in Malaya as a child in the early 50's. She was in the Far East in the 60's too - this time when serving in the forces. Her late husband Jim Cairns served in Malaya and Borneo in the RMP. Sue herself was WRAC Provost and returned to Singapore in that capacity.

Sue said:

"I have photos relating to the Cameron Highlands in the 50's where I spent a holiday as a child and also of the Borneo Confrontation where my first husband (deceased) served with the Military Police. If you are interested I will contribute."


"I also went to Singapore twice....the second time as WRAC Provost, so my stuff is pretty close to Lennie's. My first husband, Jim Cairns, died about 16 years ago after a long illness but he would have loved to share his photos of Borneo and these might need their own page.

Here come the first ones....of the Cameron Highlands in 1953

Regards, Sue"


We are indebted to Sue for taking the time and trouble to send us these evocative images. Sit back and enjoy ... starting with eight images of The Cameron Highlands.

Cluny Lodge

View from Cluny Lodge across the Golf Course


Aborigine village seen from the gardens of Cluny Lodge

Buchang Village


"Me terrorising the terrorists" - Sue at Cluny Lodge, Cameron Highlands, 1953



The NAAFI, Cameron Highlands


Outside the NAFFI waiting for transport home


And it wasn't all beer and skittles - a reminder that there was an Emergency

Sue then sent more images from the 50's. She wrote:

Here is the next batch......The Coronation in Singapore.

My Mum took these on an old Box Brownie camera and wrote an article for the local paper at home in Essex about the celebrations in Singapore. I remember being taken out to see the lights.

Regards, Sue

These are wonderful images from a bygone era in Singapore. And a brilliant example of what you can do with a Brownie camera!

Capitol Building


The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank


The GPO Building


The Britannia Club


The Great Dragon Procession


The Chinese Arch


Dragon Dancers


Dragon Dancers


The Great Dragon Procession


The Auspicious Lions


The Sea Dragon


The Asia Building

Here are some more images from Singapore in the early 1950's that Sue has sent to us. "Memories are made of this ..."

Sue and her brother at the 'Brit' Club.


A newspaper article about Pasir Panjong School, Singapore.
(Those were the days when a 250-pupil school could be built for £35,000!)


Sue and her brother at Tanglin Infants School


The Beach Belle!


Dempsey Road, Tanglin

Sue said "We did live in Dempsey Road for a few months - I think it was No 37, the bottom flat on the right in the photo. Then we moved to Gloucester Barracks which was closer to where Dad worked. He was RASC in those days. The nice thing about Tanglin was the Botanic Gardens just across the road, where we used to go and feed the monkeys."

We are very grateful to Sue for these evocative images that will bring back memories to many of us.

Your turn now!

If you would like to comment on this page, please click here and send us your thoughts.

And here are some comments we've received:

Subject = Family Memories

Comment =Hi Sue, you have certainly brought back loads of memories! I suspect you and I are fairly close in age. My first school [after the kindergarten] was Tanglin Infants. I lived in Macpherson Road and Dempsey Road, then in Tanglin Barracks. We lived not far from the entrance opposite a corner of the Botanical Gardens - could see it from the front of the house. I have photos of the house, of the botanical gardens, Changi Beach, and of the Empire Fowey quayside.

My father was on signals duty at GCHQ when news came through on October 6, 1951 that the MNLA had ambushed and killed the British High Commissioner, Sir Henry Gurney. We had earlier [1950] sheltered a young Eurasian teacher during the ethnic/religious Maria Hertogh riots.

I have memories of a large python close to our house in the barracks, and of a cobra slithering across my bare feet whilst in flight from coolies hand cutting grass close by.

There is loads more I could say - once again, thanks for the memories.

(Laurence Skelton, UK - contact details supplied)

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