Singapore’s Major Lall served in WW2, Konfrantasi

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1999

| Singapore | 28 Nov 2015 | Asia Samachar |

Major Lall Singh - PHOTO/THENEWPAPER
Major Lall Singh – PHOTO/THENEWPAPER

Major Lall Singh, 86, had served in both World War II and the Indonesian Konfrontasi. In 1963, he was stationed in Pontian, Johor, to handle the water supply.

The New Paper had captured his story when reporting on the Ex-Services Association of Singapore which ceased operations after 95 years.

“The reality is, as we age, we will pass on,” said Major Singh, who served in both World War II and the Indonesian Konfrontasi….Not being able to see my old friends anymore really saddens me. We are all so old and it’s hard to see everyone,” he told the Singapore tabloid (Ex-Services Association of Singapore to close after 95 years, The New Paper, 25 Nov 2015).

The report captured Major Lall’s story as such:

He was only 14 during the time of the Japanese occupation of Singapore in World War II but that didn’t stop Mr Lall Singh from standing up to a Japanese soldier.

“I remember quite clearly. I whacked him with a stick, he slipped and fell in the drain,” said Major Ishwar Lall Singh, 86.

The soldier had come out of his residence to take a bath during the time that was set for women to take their showers.

“The guy only had a cloth on when he walked to the shower area, where about six women were washing up.

“A few kids and I were playing in the area and we didn’t think much of it.

“Then, I noticed that he started (behaving lewdly) so I gave it to him,” he says.

Knowing that he would probably get in trouble for what he did, his father arranged for him to get a job at the Indian National Army (INA) to keep him out of the family’s residential area as much as possible.

Little did he know that it would be the beginning of a military career.

“I answered calls and liaised in Japanese for them during the period of the war. But I left soon after the war ended and joined the British army as a storekeeper,” he added.

It was during stints in the INA and the British army that Major Lall realised his passion.

In 1956, he joined the militia unit, the Singapore Volunteer Corps, and later became an officer when he handled the security of locations they were deployed to.

CONFRONTATION

“I remember being stationed at Pontian in 1963 for about six or seven months. We were sent there to handle the water supply but not long after we arrived there, the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation began,” he said.

“I never had any run-ins with Indonesian soldiers but it was still a tough period for all of us, but we stuck together.

“With all the commotion and these servicemen being away from home, I had to continuously keep them motivated because we had to make sure our water supply remained undisturbed.”

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