Up until the 1970s the British Army, RAF and Royal Navy maintained a military presence in Singapore and there was a thriving ex-pat community in the state. With a mixture of young military and civilian personnel in a tight knit community many thousands of miles from home, it was inevitable that romance would blossom between the men and women in Singapore and marriages were a regular occurrence. There were a number of different churches in the area, including the military’s own church St Georges in Tanglin Barracks. Today we are looking at a marriage certificate from 1956 for the marriage of a young soldier from the Royal Engineers:
This soldier chose to marry in the Registry office in Selangor on the 29th December 1956 and the certificate acknowledges the marriage of Robert Richmond, 26, of 410 Independent Plant Troop, Royal Engineers to Peal Roberts, 30, whose profession is listed as ‘household duties’:
Sapper Richmond’s unit was involved in the construction of roadways and civil infrastructure in Singapore, Borneo and other areas in the region throughout the late 1950s and into the 1960s. 410 Independent Plant Troop has its own veteran’s blog site and from there this potted history shows the unit’s involvement in the Malayan Emergency and beyond:
410 Independent Plant Troop RE
The above unit was formed in June 1949 at Barton Stacey.
It sailed for Hong Kong on 12th July 1949 and formed part of the Hong Kong Garrison.
It moved to Malaya in July 1951.
Where it moved to initially is unclear but it can be confirmed that in April 1954 it was located in Kuala Lumpur at Sungei Besi Barracks, probably co-located with a Malay Squadron under command of 18 Infantry Brigade.
In March 1955 along with 11 Field Squadron it came under the command of 17 Gurkha Brigade.
In March 1955 it moved to Nakah Camp, Kedha.
In February 1960 it moved to Bukit Terendack Malacca.
In November 1960 it moved to Quebeck Lines Butterworth.
In mid 1962 it moved to Singapore.
In October/November it amalgamated with 54 Ind Fld Sqn on the latters return from Hong Kong.
Sapper Richmond was probably involved in construction of the Kedah Road at this time, and a full account of this can be found on the unit’s blog here. This image of the troop from 1961 may include Sapper Richmond: