Sanitary Assistant – Pulau Tekong

May 3, 2009

In late January or early February 1942 my father was “asked” to take up the position of sanitary assistant on the island of Pulau Tekong in the Jahore Straits. This is how he put it in a subsequent letter.

“Then I was asked (not ordered) to relieve a man who for some months had been stranded on an island in the Straits.  Again confusion prevailed.  The Japs were already massing along the Jahore coastline less than a mile away.  So the boat had to unload & load up and get away fast.  There was no time for briefings.  In the event, however, there was little need.  This time I got attached to the Argyll & Southern Highlanders and a few days later we were treated to a grandstand view of the invasion of Singapore.  Fortunately for us the main thrust was further west.  Our little island was probably not deemed worth the taking.”

I will come back to the man he relieved in a subsequent post.  He was posted to Alexandra Hospital.

Here is the job description, though in the circumstances it must have seemed pretty theoretical.

job-description

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