Adnan’s Enlistment in the Experimental Company

Adnan Saidi
Adnan Saidi

A Malay Regiment Lieutenant

Second Lieutenant of the Malay Regiment. He is remembered for his bravery in leading the fierce battle against the Japanese to defend Bukit Chandu in the Battle of Singapore.

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A Malay Regiment Lieutenant

My career change may seem a little abrupt. After all, it was just about a year ago when I graduated from Pekan Sungei Ramal School in the village of Kajang, Selangor and began working as a trainee teacher there.

But when I heard that the British were…
A Schoolteacher
Circa 1933
Congratulations Adnan! I have to say, your decision is not at all surprising to me! You may only be 18 years old, but you are a firm young man who takes discipline very seriously. Having taught you and knowing how diligent and bright you were as a student, I’m sure you’ll do very well in your training!

Life in the Malay Regiment

Adnan Saidi
Adnan Saidi

A Malay Regiment Lieutenant

Second Lieutenant of the Malay Regiment. He is remembered for his bravery in leading the fierce battle against the Japanese to defend Bukit Chandu in the Battle of Singapore.

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A Malay Regiment Lieutenant

Choosing a military career was the right decision. A year after I enlisted, I was named best recruit. In 1935, our excellent performance led to the Experimental Company officially becoming the Malay Regiment. I was promoted to Sergeant in 1936.

1937 was a momentous year. I was…
A Malay Private
Circa 1939
I was one of the 25 inaugural recruits in the Experimental Company. Major Bruce was given only five months to train us into proper soldiers. On 28 July 1933, then-High Commissioner Sir Cecil Clementi
Not to be confused with Sir Cecil Clementi Smith, Sir Cecil Clementi was the Governor of the Straits Settlements from 1930 to 1934. At that time, the Straits Governor also held the post of High Commissioner for the Federated Malay States. Clementi’s immigration and education policies made him a deeply unpopular figure. He withdrew grants from Chinese- and Tamil-medium schools, and sent large numbers of Chinese and Indians back to their home countries.
came to inspect the results and was impressed. Our squad moved as one man with crispness, precision and zest. Even the complex exercise of fixing bayonets to our rifles, which involved a series of distinct movements, did not daunt us. When the whole line of bayonets went down to the rifles with a single click, I knew right then we had proved ourselves to be disciplined soldiers.
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Defending Pasir Panjang Ridge

Adnan Saidi
Adnan Saidi

A Malay Regiment Lieutenant

Second Lieutenant of the Malay Regiment. He is remembered for his bravery in leading the fierce battle against the Japanese to defend Bukit Chandu in the Battle of Singapore.

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A Malay Regiment Lieutenant

Late last year, I was posted to Singapore. My family and I moved into a big house off Pasir Panjang where the Regiment is stationed. But as war was closing in, I had to send my family back to Kajang. It’s a heartbreaking decision; after all, Sophia is pregnant. Before…
A British Major
Feb 1942
Lieutenant, Pasir Panjang Ridge offers a clear view towards the north of Singapore, as well as direct access to the Alexandra area where the British ammunition and supply depots, military hospital and other key buildings stand. You and your men will need to defend the ridge from the Japanese no matter the cost.

The other regiments in the 1st Malaya Infantry Brigade
A brigade is a formation made up of two or more infantry battalions or regiments commanded by a brigadier. The 1st Malaya Infantry Brigade was led by Brigadier G.G.R. Williams, and consisted of the British 2nd Loyal Regiment, the 1st and 2nd Malay Regiment battalions (1,400 soldiers in total) and one company from the Singapore Overseas Chinese Anti-Japanese Volunteer Army or Dalforce. They were tasked with protecting the area between Ayer Rajah Road and the southern coast.
are defending the surrounding areas around Pasir Panjang. The pillboxes
Pillboxes are round shelters from which soldiers can fire guns. They were key to Singapore’s coastal defence in World War II. Concrete pillboxes were positioned along the eastern and southern coasts at strategic intervals, allowing for overlapping fields of fire that could almost cover the whole southern coastline. While the guns usually faced seawards, they could actually be turned inland to fire at Japanese positions, contrary to popular belief that the guns were facing the wrong way.

The Pasir Panjang machine-gun pillbox, which still stands today, was probably used by the Malay Regiment in their resistance against the Japanese.
along the southern coastline, land mines and barbed wire fences will help you resist the Japanese.

Battle of Bukit Chandu

Adnan Saidi
Adnan Saidi

A Malay Regiment Lieutenant

Second Lieutenant of the Malay Regiment. He is remembered for his bravery in leading the fierce battle against the Japanese to defend Bukit Chandu in the Battle of Singapore.

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A Malay Regiment Lieutenant

More soldiers have been added to my unit. I have 42 men under my command to defend Bukit Chandu
Meaning Opium Hill in Malay, Bukit Chandu got its name because there was an opium factory once located on Pepys Road at the foot of the hill. It was called the Telok Blangah Factory and was a major opium processing and packing centre. After the government took over the facility in 1910, it became the Government Opium Factory and continued to process opium until the drug was completely banned in the late 1940s. Today, the museum called Reflections at Bukit Chandu stands on the hill in commemoration of the Battle of Bukit Chandu.
. There are no trenches or protection of any kind here, so my men are building a defensive wall with sandbags. We hear that Japanese troops are making their way here.
A Malay Gunner
14 Feb 1942
We’ve received a report from the defence line, sir! Our men spotted a group of soldiers with turbans marching towards us. They are probably Punjabi soldiers from the British Army.

Remembering Lieutenant Adnan

G.McI.S. Bruce
G.McI.S. Bruce

A British Major General

The first Commanding Officer of the Malay Regiment.

A British Major General

May the courageous spirit and discipline shown by this young Malay officer live on in the memory of his countrymen so that his great sacrifice might not have been in vain. May Lieutenant Adnan’s gallant death, his unswerving determination to do his duty be an example and an inspiration to…
A War Survivor
Circa 1957
On the same day Lieutenant Adnan died, the Japanese stormed the British Military Hospital and killed around 200 staff members and patients.

I was fortunate enough to survive what is known today as the Alexandra Hospital massacre
On 14 February 1942, after being fired at by Indian soldiers on the hospital grounds, the Japanese attacked the British Military Hospital, supposedly in retaliation. After an indiscriminate shooting and bayoneting spree, the soldiers rounded up about 200 patients and staff, put them into servants’ quarters and bayoneted them to death. The perpetrators were never identified. The hospital was later converted into a general hospital named Alexandra Hospital in 1971.
. I was lying on the verandah when the Japanese soldiers came. I saw them bayonet a wounded Chinese soldier just a few beds away and an Australian soldier with his arm in a sling who was just coming down the stairs. I heard they even killed a corporal on the operating table. The soldiers who did that weren’t human!
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