New Zealand military base in Singapore

This 1975 aerial photgraph shows Dieppe Barracks, the base of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1RNZIR) in Singapore.

1RNZIR was relocated south from Terendak Camp in Malaysia to Singapore in December 1969. At first they were stationed at Nee Soon Garrison, but in June 1971 they were moved to Dieppe Barracks. New Zealand maintained its battalion in Singapore until 1989.

Before the 1RNZIR took over the site, Dieppe Barracks was the home of Number 40 Royal Marine Commando. The presence of British military bases in Singapore was one reason for Indonesian President Surkano’s hostility towards Malaysia, which, during part of the Confrontation period, incorporated Singapore.

Community contributions

12 comments have been posted about New Zealand military base in Singapore

What do you know?

Christina

Posted: 03 Jul 2018

Does anyone on here know my father Michael kennedy?

Gareth Phipps

Posted: 13 Sep 2017

Hi Gavin - thanks for this. I've updated the caption accordingly. Regards, Gareth Phipps

Gavin Lawrence

Posted: 12 Sep 2017

Dieppe Barracks was not the NZ Military HQ in Singapore, it was the home of the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1 RNZIR). The vast majority of NZ servicemen in South East Asia were housed at Dieppe and it was arguably the "center of gravity" for NZ Forces from 1971 to 1989. The actual tri-service headquarters was located at the Sembawang Naval Base and was designated as Headquarters, New Zealand Forces South East Asia (HQ NZFORSEA), commanded by a Brigadier or equivalent.

Regardless, 1 RNZIR was the combat element of New Zealand's contribution to 28 Commonwealth Brigade (then briefly 28 ANZUK Brigade) before the brigade's eventual disbandment in 1974. 1 RNZIR was the only significant element of the brigade to remain in place after the disbandment. The other two infantry battalions 6 RAR (Australia) and 1 RHF (UK) were redeployed to their home countries.

Dieppe Barracks holds a special place in the history of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment and in the hearts of the thousands of New Zealand infantrymen who served there and those last few who deployed to South Vietnam in 1971 and 1972 from there. Dieppe was the center of post-Vietnam infantry training in close country (jungle) warfare and counter-insurgency operations where the skills and lessons learnt from operations in Malaya, Borneo and Vietnam (1958 - 1972) were practiced and retained.

In 1987 the decision to withdraw from Dieppe was made by the government of the day and in 1989 the redeployment of 1 RNZIR was completed to Linton Camp near Palmerston North. A very good TVNZ report on the redeployment is at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz7rnEiPk_g

Some interesting notes about this particular photograph of Dieppe Barracks are that the Nee Soon Barracks (1 RNZIR's home from 1969-1971) are visible at the very top of the picture, and the only significant buildings not included in the picture is the Officer's Mess complex, which has been cut off from the lower right.

Louise Townley

Posted: 30 Jul 2016

I am looking for Craig Harrison known as "Harry" in the NZ army in Singapore along with "Jacko" who suffered a motorbike accident there.

Veronica

Posted: 23 Apr 2015

I am looking for Stephen Allan Wells and Allan Gregory Brown who were station in Singapore in the 80's. They were rescued from a cable car and CHannel News Asia would like to do a story on them. If anyone knows them, please get them to email me at IaconoV@mediacorp.com.sg

Stephen Moir

Posted: 30 Dec 2014

I was in Admin Coy 1977 to 1980', great times but had honour to be one Pl Sgts for trooping of the colours on the Padang Jan 1979. But can't find photos ,news ,anything ..any help ??

Chris Hunter

Posted: 20 Mar 2014

Yes, I was part of the move from Terendak to Nee Soon. Returned to NZ after move to Dieppe. I also served in SVN.

David McCall

Posted: 16 Mar 2014

I remember being out on the Parade Ground and a Parachute drop came down and the RSM yelling loudly 'steer away, steer away'

He did not want any unruly parachutists bespoiling his Parade Ground

admin

Posted: 03 Mar 2014

Hi Terry - thanks very much for this - we've now updated the caption to provide more specific dates. Kind regards, Jamie Mackay

Terry Garmonsway

Posted: 02 Mar 2014

A New Zealand infantry battalion was not stationed in Singapore from 1960 as the story suggests. It was based at Terendak Garrison near Malacca in Malaysia as part of the 28th Commonwealth Brigade, moving to Singapore at the end of 1969.

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