‘Chinese New Year 1915 will long be remembered in the Straits Settlements,’ write Edwin and Mary Brown in their extraordinary account of the 1915 Singapore Mutiny. ‘We left for home, had a tiffin, and went to our rooms for a lie-off, having arranged to go for a good walk when the heat of the day was over. We had our tea, and at 5 pm got into the trap. We drove along Tanglin Road, into Stephens Road, and along Bukit Timah Road to the junction of Cluny Road, and there we dismissed the syce. We thought it a curious fact that no-one was playing tennis … and there was not a soul to be seen on the garrison golf course … You can imagine our horror when we found that the 5th Light Infantry had broken out in open mutiny and had been in Tanglin that afternoon, and were even then supposed to be marching on Singapore!’
So begins this enthralling husband-and-wife account of an unexpected and terrifying episode in Singapore’s history that saw 850 Indian soldiers revolt and slaughter 47 British and local soldiers and civilians. Never before transcribed, this memoir is published for the first time, 100 years after the events took place.
About the author
Edwin A. Brown arrived in Singapore in 1901 and worked there until the Japanese Occupation in 1942 when he was interned as a P.O.W. in Changi Prison. Honorary Choirmaster of St Andrew’s Cathedral, the founder of both the Singapore Musical Society and the Children’s Orchestra, a respected businessman, a municipal commissioner, the Chief Commissioner of Scouts for Singapore and a Justice of the Peace, Edwin A. Brown was one of prewar Singapore’s most prominent figures.