An Interview with Roy Biddulph (Served 1950-1952)

a) Did you mix with the local population when you were stationed at Seletar?
1. At the time it was very difficult to mix with the local population but when I did I found them a very welcoming and happy people

b) What was Jalan Kayu and singapore like back then?
2. I do not remember Jalan Kayu. Singapore was only just recovering from the war and it was not the lovely place I understand it is today

c) What were your feelings and sentiments about being sent to a place so far from home?
3. I was so happy when I got posted to Singapore. I was doing my National Service and to be sent halfway round the world and able to see places and people I found to be wonderful

d) What was a typical day like at the base?
4 I was an airframe fitter and all day long I worked on various RAF aircraft. We had a fairly early start and after breakfast we would go straight down to the hangar and the work was allocated sometimes in the hangar and sometimesout on the airfield. we had quite a few of the local men who were qualified as engineers and were very good to get on with. I also remember the little office boy who was called Cjico. What a happy little boyhe was. Halfway through the morning the NAAFT van would come round where we could buy tea and pies etc.
If I remember rightlly we finished work about 4pm and then it was back to the billet for a shower and then tiffin.

e) What did you all do after work?
We seemed to play football every night till it went dark and then it was back to the NAAFI. Although I did not drink I had many happy hours with my friends. I also joined the Model Engireering Club and built a model of a petrol engined racing car which along with other members we used to race round a pole in the gymnasium. I was also a member of the Station Photographic Club. I find it so sad that over the last fiftly or sixty years I have lost nearly all the photographs I took.

The second year I was at Seletar I went on two weeks leave to Penang where we stayed at the WVS Leave centre which I think was called Tanjong Bungah. What a wonderful time we had. My pal who was with me was a very keen badminton player and there was a chap at the leave centre who regularly beat him hands down. At the end of our leave period we found out his name was Wong Pen Soon (I think thats right) He turned out to be a World Champion.

f) What do you all know about the Singapore Flying Club which was set up by the British forces?
5. I don't think the Singapore Flying Club was in existance when I was there (1950-1952.)

g) What do you think about the locals back then?
6. I think in the main the locals seemed to tolerate us quite well considering that we were foreign people in their country. Some men behaved very badly but in the main I think we were reasonably well behaved.

l) What was your favourite local food when you were serving at Seletar?
7. I remember that in the NAAFI my favourite food was Nazi Goring plus mainly all Chinese foods.

m) What activities do you all engage in to bond together?
8. There were many activities that kept us all together. I played football and hockey for our Squadron. We had failities for Badminton, Tennis, Rugby, Cross Country Running, Swimming, Yachting and of course we had two Cinemas on the camp

n) What was the level of discipline like in the camp and how was it enforced?
9. Discipline in the camp was at a reasonable level and in the main if you kept your nose clean you we treated well by the officers and NCO's

o) What do you like most and least about your time here?
10. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every minute of my time in Singapore. When I returned to civilian life I was a bit depressed and I think if I could have gone back into the RAF with the same bunch of chaps I would have signed on again. Anyway that was not to be and so I remaine a civilian to this day

p) How would you like to have your services to be remembered?
11 I don't know how I would like my services to be remember but I do know that answering your questions has brought back to me what a wonderful time I had at your side of the world.


For this I will be eternally grateful.

I wish you and your school well.

Roy Biddulph

PS I have just remember the Happy World and the Great World where we used to regularly to watch the wresting on Saturday nights and also the Tiger Balm Gardens. I suppose these places are long gone."