Monday, 11 March 2013

Down memory lane

I was a Forces child. I was born in Singapore in 1966, my father had gone there to work as a teacher in a forces school. He may well have  gone as a response to seeing this video or one similar to it. Life was pretty good for British Forces personnel in Singapore; I think the pay was quite good as was the social life. I still have faint memories of the place, in particular my Amah (who was called Ar-Wah, although I guess this means her real name was “Wah”.) The Amah looked after the children, rather like a nanny nowadays. My husband always teases me about this and says I was born into the twilight of Imperialism.

When I was five, my dad decided to train for the priesthood and we went to a deprived area of South Wales with high unemployment, we lived in an icy cold house with no central heating. Only a few years later though he decided to return to work in a Forces school, this time in Germany. The above promotional video will be of little interest to anyone who was not a Forces child, but for me it features many of the scenes of my childhood, for example I remember the rubber plantations and I am sure some of the later clips show my school in Germany.

My mum will also no doubt be interested, so it could be a sort of belated Mother’s Day gift... Yeah, we did get flowers as well...

Rubber plantation

Street scene Hong Kong

Slums close to where we lived. There was great poverty for many

Street altar in Singapore
My Christening day- the ears are still the same!


  1. A fascinating video Suem. It took me back to my time in the WRAC.
    The photos are lovely too, specially the little girl with the MIckey Mouse ears. I had/have the same problem.
    Thanks for this reminder of 'back then'.

  2. How lovely to get this glimpse of your far from usual childhood, Sue. I did enjoy it.

  3. Aww, that's nice of you both. Sort of feel I am a bit dull at the moment really, and that harping on about my life is a bit yawn worthy :) Glad if you enjoyed it!

    1. I enjoyed it Sue,thank you [for this I allowed myself to reply] mum x

  4. Hi Suem, I meant to comment sooner...I had a brief read of your post the other morning before heading out the door to work.
    It made me think of my childhood as well, my dad flew aircraft for a christian organization MAF, in northern Australia, New Guinea and when I was very small I remember visiting a rubber plantation, and seeing lots of different things.
    We came back to Australia when I was 10, so my recent trip away to Vietnam and Thailand bought back some memories of different sights and smells.
    The film is so vintage and it's fun to see how culture was back then.

  5. I just read your April 2012 blog on Good Friday. Can you tell me the artist or source of the image of the empty tomb with the 3 crosses on the distant hill? I don't have an account so I will set my profile as annonymous and watch your blog for a response. Thank you. Happy Easter. Pat

    Hi Pat- it is from the blog above, but it is not attributed on that blog and the blog is now closed. I now use images from FreeDigitalPhotos (linked in my blog list to the right.)