Whilst researching Royal Garrison Artillery units I came across a commemoration to Gunners who had been killed during a Mutiny in Singapore in February 1915.
The Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) operated the coastal guns that protected Singapore. They were manned by the 78th and 80th Companies RGA and Indian Army Gunners from the Hong Kong and Singapore Royal Garrison Artillery (HKS-RGA). A British infantry battalion, and the Singapore Volunteers Battalion formed the garrison troops.
When war broke out the British battalion was sent to France, being replaced by the 5th Light Infantry of the Indian Army, an all Muslim unit. In February 1915 a mutiny occurred when the 5th Light Infantry of the Indian Army revolted. Amongst the mutineers were gunners from the Malay States Guides (MSG) Mule Battery.
The roots of the mutiny lay with unrest caused through propaganda being circulated advocating Indian independence, poor conditions for the soldiers and weak leadership from the battalion officers. Among the tasks the battalion undertook was the guarding of German crew from the Light Cruiser Emden who took the opportunity to fuel the Indian soldiers unrest. The trigger was an announcement that the battalion would transfer to Hong Kong. However rumours spread that the battalion was actually destined for Europe to fight the Turks, fellow Muslims.
The mutiny lasted nearly ten days, and resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people including six British officers fourteen British soldiers and fourteen civilians. The mutineers casualties were estimated at 200.
Marines from HMS Cadmus landed to support local soldiers not involved in the mutiny and the Singapore Police. Further assistance arrived when a French, a Russian and two Japanese warships arrived in Singapore, with sailors and marines reinforcing. The fighting lasted 7 days, on the 20th February , companies of the 1st/4th Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry (Territorials) arrived from Rangoon to relieve the sailors and the marines.
During the mutiny 432 mutineers were captured, 205 would face trial, of which 47 were publicly executed by firing squad, the remainder receiving varying lengths of jail sentences. The commanding officer of the 5th Light Infantry was cashiered.
Amongst those killed were three officers and two other ranks from the Royal Garrison Artillery. They are commemorated on a memorial located in St Andrew's Cathedral in Singapore.
"To 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."
Another memorial in the Victoria Memorial Hall remembers those from the Singapore Volunteer Corps, including a member of the Singapore Volunteer Artillery.
"To 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.
Gunner P. Walton, Artillery
The Gunners are buried, together with others killed during the mutiny are buried in Kranji War Cemetery.