1st Battalion

The Argyll and Sutherland


Singapore 1964 - 1966


All photographs are the property of RHQ Argylls and may not be reproduced or copied without permission from RHQ Argylls.


Period - January to April, 1964

January/February 1964 the battalion moved to Selarang Barracks, Changi, Singapore taking over from 1st Battalion The Queen's Own Highlanders.

24th-29th February.—Officers and Sergeants attended a one-day Course at the School of Health. HQ Singapore Base Area carried out a detailed briefing for Senior ranks. Company Commanders visited training areas. Fitness training, acclimatisation training, the issue of jungle kit and similar administrative matters took place during this time.

Click picture to enlarge.

2nd-14th March.—The three rifle Companies and a HQ composite training group of the Pipes and Drums, Assault Pioneers and Signal Platoons carried out weapon firing at Nee Soon and Palau Tekong. Individual jungle skills were also taught in the Nee Soon Nature Reserve and on Palau Teking Island where the Companies bivouacked

16th-26th March.—Section and Platoon Jungle Training was carried out at three areas in the Malayan Southern Manoeuvre Area and at the Jungle Warfare School where Watermanship training took place. Simultaneously a 3-in. Mortar and Anti-Tank cadre began. The battalion 2 i/c and QM visited Borneo.

27th March.—A Special Memorial Service was held at the Presbyterian Church, Singapore to commemorate the Memorial Plaque to the 93rd Highlanders originally dedicated in 1949.


31st March/6th April.—The Battalion carried out further Jungle Training at Asahan in Malacca State. A Signals Exercise was held and Jungle Shooting Ranges constructed by the Assault Pioneers were used by the Rifle Companies.

7th April.—The Battalion Intelligence Officer and two soldiers of the Intelligence Section flew to Borneo to begin the take-over of military commitments in the 4th Division of Sarawak from the 1st Bn King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

8th April.—The Battalion Royal Signals Detachment and Advance Stores Party sailed for Borneo aboard the LST Reginald Kerr.

By 21st April the battalion was complete in Borneo.


First Tour - April to September 1964

Period – September 1964 to February 1965

            In September everyone enjoyed getting back to Singapore, the accompanied to return to the bosom of their families, the unaccompanied to find houses and get their families out from the UK and the unmarried to visit ‘Bugis Street’! All these things have been done and the Commanding Officer booked the entire Maternity Wing for the middle of 1965.

            The last three months of 1964 passed quickly, if there is a cadre the battalion did not run or a course the battalion was not represented on then they must have been very obscure indeed. Also during this time the battalion had its Annual Administrative Inspection, classified on the ranges and struggled with the annual PE Tests. Unfortunately, during this time the NE Monsoon struck Singapore and the Rifle Meeting, the Highland Games and the Children's party which took place indoors and were exciting to put it mildly, they all suffered. During the festive season the battalion had a wide range of functions to entertain it — All Ranks Dance, Teenagers Dance, Cpls Dance, WOs and Sgts Christmas Draw and Dance, Officers Dance, Buffet Supper by the Swimming Pool and activities in the Junior Ranks Club.



            Once the festivities were over, it down to some serious training in the jungle in order to prepare for the next spell in Borneo. During January A Coy had 10 days training at Ulu Tiram, B Coy trained at Kota Tinggi.

            After 12 years devoted and inspiring leadership, Pipe Major Pitkeathly left the Pipes and Drums and started a new phase of his Military career, WO II Pitkeathly became RQMS. He did a wonderful job for both for the Pipes and Drums and for the Regiment as he also did in his new career. His place in the Pipes and Drums was taken by Pipe Major Robson.

            February the battalion moved to Borneo to begin its second tour.

Second Tour – February to May 1965

Period – May to November 1965

 This period spent in Singapore was a very busy one. Nevertheless everyone in the Bn was able to have a fortnight's holiday during which some of the more enterprising individuals went as far a field as Hong Kong, Bankok and, in one case, Australia. 

Funeral of 23549499 Pte W. Hill.



Funeral of 24054257 Pte T.C. Elliott



Cadres were run on practically every conceivable subject, a large Education programme was completed and during October each rifle Company spent at least three weeks Training in the jungles of Johore. During this period of Jungle Training, Pte Elliott of A Coy lost his life as the result of an accident in which he was struck by a falling tree during a tropical storm. He was buried with full military honours in the Military Cemetery at Ulu Pandan on 4th October, 1965. The short service was conducted by the Rev. T. L. Williams. During September the Pipes and Drums and Military Band were in Tokyo to taking part in the British Trade Fair being held there.


On 21st September it was announced that Sgt B. Baty, MM, had been granted a Short Service Commission. Three days later he was delivered by the Sergeants' Mess to the Officers' Mess in a wheelbarrow. All ranks extended to Lt Baty their congratulations on his well-earned promotion.


The following awards were announced:— Lt D. P. Thomson awarded the MC for gallantry in Borneo. Major R. F. Wilson and 2/Lt G. A. Neilson both Mentioned in Despatches. These officers were congratulated on their well deserved awards which reflect the excellent work done by the Bn when last in Borneo.



Colonel of the Regiment

During the first week of October the Bn had the pleasure of a visit by the Colonel of the Regiment. A Quarter Guard was provided by HQ Coy under the Command of Sergeant McGurk and a Guard of Honour by D Coy. In the absence of Major MacMillan the Guard of Honour was Commanded by Captain Dewar-Durie. During his visit General Graham visited all Companies and Departments and saw A and B Coys training in the jungle. For this visit he was flown to Malaysia by the Bn Air Platoon.

Balaclava Ball

The Sergeants' Mess held their annual Balaclava Ball on 25th October in the Sergeants' Mess at Selarang Barracks. It was interesting to note, however, that among the guests were Major and Mrs. 0. B. Younger, who were visiting their son, Capt J. D. B. Younger, who is Adjutant of the Bn. Major Younger is reported to have said that the last time he attended a Balaclava Ball was 32 years previous.

Visit of BBC Film Unit

Shortly before the Bn left for Borneo it was visited by Mr. Hoggan of the BBC Aberdeen, who spent four days filming all aspects of the Bn's life in Singapore.  Does anyone know if it was shown on TV in Scotland?

Plaque Presented to Change Prison

Before leaving Singapore the RSM presented to the Authorities of Changi Prison a Memorial Plaque to commemorate those members of the Regiment who served and died in this theatre during the 1939-45 War.

The Inscription reads:-

"In Memory of Men of the 2nd Bn (93rd), who died in this Theatre of War, 1942-1945. Presented by the Sergeants' Mess of the 1st Bn (91st), 1965."

 The Plaque has been placed in the Commemoration Chapel in Changi Prison where it hangs with the plaques of Regiments who served in this theatre.

Annual Memorial Service, Changi

On Remembrance Sunday, B Coy provided a detachment to represent the Regiment at the Annual Remembrance Service held at the Military Cemetery, Kranji. In this cemetery are buried members of the Allied Armies who lost their lives in the Malayan Campaign of 1942. Among them are many of the 2nd Argylls whose names are inscribed on the Kranji Memorial.

27 November after having spent almost exactly five months in Singapore the Bn moved back to Borneo. 

Third Tour - November 1965- April 1966

Period – April 1966 to October 1966

At the end of April the battalion again concentrated in Singapore, a hectic week was spent doing administration and closing the Borneo Accounts and on 7th May the Bn began three weeks block leave, a period which had been very well earned. It was impossible to say where everyone went. Many spent at least part of their leave in Selerang barracks and in the flesh pots of Singapore. Others-went to the Cameron Highlands and Penang. D Coy ran a small leave camp at the Naval Base and a party of 15 or so went to Hong Kong on board the Aircraft Carrier HMS Albion.

            By 30th May the Battalion "was back from leave" and there were no absentees. If anyone thought that having completed three tours in Borneo the battalion to be allowed to rest on their laurels they received a sad shock.  



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On 6th June a series of courses and cadres began covering practically every aspect of Military training and continued until just before the Battalion left for home. By then much specialist training will have been completed and the Bn should be ready for its new role in Plymouth.  On 6th July B Coy provided a Guard of Honour for the Rt Hon Dennis Healey, the Minister of Defence, who was visiting Singapore to discuss the end of confrontation and other matters with the Singapore Government. The Guard was commanded by Major Palmer.

            On top of the cadres which cover everything from Signals to Education to Assault Pioneer work and to NCOs duties, each Company had to complete its Battle Efficiency tests and classify while at the same time preparing for the Annual Administrative Inspection which took place on 27th July. The Inspecting Officer was Major-General Hensman, the Officer Commanding Singapore Area. He was most impressed by all he saw and reported favourably on the state of the Bn. Since returning from Borneo the Bn has had several visitors including the Brigade Colonel and Colonel Fletcher, Commanding Officer of 1 KSLI, who will take over from the battalion in October. The end of the battalion’s tour in Singapore was taken up with cleaning and preparation of stores and vehicles for handover.


 More Singapore Pictures


Plymouth 1966 - 1969

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Updated: 12 February 2015