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British Army in Malaya

The British Army in Malaya with a history of British Military Hospital Kluang and photos of the BMH and surrounding areas like Terendak Camp

The British Military Hospital Kluang was part of the Panang Hospitals in the Cameron Highlands which supported the Far Eastern Land Forces (FARELF) British Army in Malaya.

BMH Kluang

BMH Kluang

The diary entry of Colonel PG Bennett recalls Christmas Day 1957 at BMH Kluang:

After morning church service the Garrison Commander’s wife, Mrs Richardson, visited all the wards and wished each patient Happy Christmas. She also helped to choose the best decorated ward and presented the cup to the winner.

Christmas BMH Kluang

These photos, from the collection of Colonel Bennett, shows Christmas Dinner at the QARANC Officers Mess:


QARANC member Mary Elizabeth Allen was posted there and has kindly shared her photographs and memories.

Catterick Camp Yorks QARANC

I was a TA QA from 1966 to 1967 in Manchester. I met my husband, John, in May 1967, the day the Israeli Six Day War started (this has been a joke in our family ever since!), at the DKMH Catterick where he was serving with the RAMC on my first 'camp'. We married in September 1967.

RAMC Wedding

John was posted to BMH Kluang in Johore, Malaysia four days later with me following after six weeks. We lived in an army 'hiring' at 89 Jalan Batu Pahat, KIuang before moving into an army quarter across the road at 56 Jalan Batu Pahat. Our oldest son, Paul, was born in BMH Kluang.

Kluang British Army Camp

Below is QARANC Nursing Sister Chang.

sister chang bmh kluang

If you can help identify the QA midwife below please get in touch.

bmh kluang qaranc nursing sister

Terendak Camp

The road we lived in housed many nationalities - Malay, Chinese, Tamil, British, Gurkhas - and it was a fantastic, exotic time in my life (I was only 18). We were posted to the Commonwealth Military Hospital at Terendak Camp, near Malacca in 1968 where we were based with Australian and New Zealand army personnel. Terendak was a base where the Aussies and Kiwis were sent out to Vietnam from I believe. We were living in Terendak when there were riots in Kuala Lumpur after the General Election in 1968 and 1969. Families were confined to the garrison - we actually lived on Hang Tuah Estate which was just outside the garrison gates so were freer to move around although armed soldiers in land rovers patrolled the area for our protection.

hang tuah estate

British Army in Malaya

Here is the entrance to 16 Field Ambulance Terendak Camp, Malacca.

16 field ambulance entrance terendak camp malacca

The Beach Club Terendak Malacca:

beach club terendak malacca

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The Drummer Boy The Drummer Boy continues the adventures of QARANC nurse, Scott Grey, who has the special gift of seeing military ghosts. In this novel he is haunted by the ghost of a Gordon Highlander Drummer Boy from the Battle of Waterloo. It is based on the legends of the Tidworth Military Hospital Drummer Boy.

Chapters take place in modern day Aberdeen, at the Noose & Monkey bar and restaurant as well as His Majesty’s Theatre and Garthdee. Other scenes take place at Tidworth and during the Napoleonic War where I describe battlefield medical care of this era.

Read the first three chapters for free on most devices.

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We loved the tropics but there were lots of dangers - poisonous snakes, scorpions, disease and ailments of various kinds, such as monsoon blisters and prickly heat. My husband caught dengue fever and was very ill and, even though one lady died of the illness and several were admitted to hospital, he was sent home for me to nurse him - can you imagine! I was only 19 with a young baby and no experience of tropical diseases. It was very frightening, especially when John's temperature swung between high fever and cold shakes!

This is John wearing his RAMC whites uniform:

ramc whites uniform terendak malacca

We've got lots of happy memories of our time in Malaysia and would love to go back but, alas, can't afford to do so. Our eldest son has always wanted to visit the place he was born. I looked it up on the Internet and it is unrecognisable! Jalan Batu Pahat appears to be a motorway and Kluang is now a university town with lots of industry. Terendak, which was taken over by the Malay Federal Army when it closed, appears to be a housing estate.

In 1969 Mary's family were posted to BMH Rinteln where her story continues. Or view more of her pictures below:

MT Lambak:

mt lambak kluang malaysia

Mosque Kluang Malaysia:

mosque kluang malaysia

Kluang town centre:

kluang town centre

off duty army kluang malaysia

Baby christening british army malaysia

The football pitch at BMH Kluang Malaysia:

football pitch bmh kluang malaysia

New Year's Day football match:

new years day football match kluang

Where the CSM enjoyed being tied down with army webbing and netting!

CSM tied down with army webbing netting

Jalan Batu Pahat Kluang:

jalan batu pahat kluang 1967

R&R at Cameron Highlands Malaysia:

 r&r cameron highlands malaysia 1969

On the photographs of QARANC army nurses and hospitals page is an Xmas card sent from BMH Kluang.

If you would like to contribute any info, photographs or share your memories then please contact me.

Forces War Records

Forces War Records are a genealogy site where you can find military records of over 6 million British Armed Forces personnel cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships. This link includes a free search and a special discount of 40% off membership offer for visitors who use the discount code AF40 if they decide to become a member.
Search Now. A unique feature is their WW1 Soldiers Medical Records section.

If you would like to contribute to this page, suggest changes or inclusions to this website or would like to send me a photograph then please e-mail me.

Official QARANC webpage.

QA Association website.

In The Company of Nurses Book.


The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital Novel - a Book by CG Buswell

The Drummer Boy Novel

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