Singapore Mutiny 1915
3:30 p.m. on Monday 15th February, 1915, 815 men of the Indian Army's
5th Light Infantry Battalion with 100 men of the Malay States Guides
Mule Battery mutinied. They broke out of their barracks and fired
on a group of five British officers, killing three. The other two
escaped and ran off to get help. They managed to get sufficient
force together from other units in the barracks to drive off the
party of 100 mutineers went to Tanglin Barracks where 309 Germans
were interned, including members of the Emden's crew. The mutineers
fired on the guards without warning, killing all of them, but not
before one brave guard managed to run across the courtyard under
heavy fire to raise the alarm. The mutineers tried to persuade the
Germans to join them but only 17 plus 3 Dutchmen joined them. The
rest refused to have anything to do with what they considered a
dishonourable act, and stayed where they were.
mutineers went on a killing spree at Keppel Harbour and Pasir Panjang
killing many men and women including a judge. All white women and
children were rowed out to boats as protection. It was getting dark
by this time and the authorities finally were getting organised.
Marines and crew from HMS Cadmus came ashore and were mobilised
with other garrison troops who had not mutineed. A radio message
was sent to India and any allied warship for help.
the meantime, the mutineers were laying siege to the bungalow of
the commander, Colonel Martin, which was effectively blocking the
way into Singapore Town. The Colonel and some men held out all night
until they were relieved at daybreak by armed volunteers and civilians.
They were so successful that they captured a fair amount of the
mutineers' artillery. This action cost one killed and five wounded.
The mutineers scattered and despite heavy sniper fire from the mutineers,
the general population stayed calm as the militia fought sporadic
battles with the mutineers.
Fort Siloso defences played a role in the mutiny. Searchlights situated
on Blakang Mati were used to illuminate parts of Singapore Island
to aid loyal troops in quelling the mutiny.
Wednesday 17th February, the French cruiser Montcalm followed by
smaller Russian and Japanese warships arrived. They immediately
unloaded a large number of Marines who immediately advanced on the
mutineers. A sharp battle ensued in which the mutineers came off
second best. A large number of them surrendered immediately, the
rest scattered into the jungle. A large number tried to escape across
the Strait of Johore but were immediately rounded up by the Sultan
of Johore's army. In the meantime, the mutineers who had scattered
continued to wage a sniping war on the allies.
Saturday 20th February, six companies of the 5th Shropshire Territorials
arrived from Rangoon, relieving the sailors and Marines. They rounded
up the last of mutineers in a short time.
22nd February saw the opening Courts Martial. These resulted in
a large number of the mutineers being shot in public. Some mutineers
escaped to mainland but were hunted down by Dayak headhunters. Of
915 mutineers many were later executed and the renmants of the battalion
was moved to Africa. The largest of these executions saw a firing
party of 110 shooting 22 mutineers. The mutineers who surrendered
early were sent to fight in Africa against Von Lettow Vorbeck. A
leading Indian merchant was implicated in the plot and was proved
to have sent messages to the Turkish Consul in Rangoon offering
him help by encouraging the Indian garrison in Singapore to mutiny.
He was shot for his actions.
first major involvement for the Singapore Volunteer Corps SVRC was
the Mutiny their contribution being the retaking Alexandra Barracks
from the mutineers, occupying the Tanglin Detention Barracks unopposed
and taking charge of the German POWs.
Scouts rendered valuable service by taking over from the police
and army the duties of dispatch riders, telephone operators and
The mutiny lead to the compulsory military training of all Britons
aged 18 to 55 in Singapore.
is a memorial in Queen's College, Cambridge to Cadet C
V Dyson (DNM). He was killed in the Singapore Mutiny.
St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
St Andrew's Cathedral is Singapore's oldest Anglican house
of worship and is located within the Civic District which
was formerly the seat of the colonial government in early
Singapore. Within the Cathedral there are wall-mounted tablets
which commemorate the victims of the Singapore Mutiny.
the glory of God and in sacred memory of the undermentioned officers,
non-commissioned officers and men of the Singapore Volunteer Corps,
who lost their lives during the mutiny of the 5th Native Light
Infantry in February 1915.
2nd Lieutnt J. Love-Montgomerie,
Sergeant G. Wald, (Reserve)
Corporal D. McGilvray, Rifles
Corporal G.O. Lawson, Cyclist
Lce Corporal J.G.E. Harper,
Private B.C. Cameron, Rifles
Private F.S. Drysdale, Rifles
Private A.J.G. Holt, Rifles
Lieutnt A.F. Legge, Field
Gunner P. Walton, Artillery
Civilian F. Geddes, Armed
memorial is erected by their comrades in the Singapore Volunteer
Stoker C.F. Anscombe
of HMS Cadmus
who was killed in action during the mutiny of the 5th Light Infantry
16th February 1915
Ready Aye Ready
Erected by the Association of Engineers, Singapore."
the glory of God and in memory of
Major R.H. Galwey
Captain F.V. Izard
Captain M.F.A. Maclean
Corporal R.V. Beagley
Gunner J. Barry
All of the Royal Garrison Artillery
who were killed in the mutiny at Singapore in February 1915
This tablet is erected by their comrades of the
Royal Garrison Artillery at Singpore."
memory of Captain & 2nd in Command
Staff - Johore Military Forces
Late Royal Marine Artillery
Born 11 November 1869
Killed at Tanglin 15 Feby 1915
Erected by the Sergeants Mess RM Artillery."