Thursday, April 24, 2014

Chua Boon Hin (Bukit Brown)

Chua Boon Hin is the eldest son of Chua Cheng Hock, a director of Cycle and Carriage founded by the Chua brothers ( Chua Cheng Bok and Chua Cheng Tuan) in Kuala Lumpur on 1899. Chua Boon Hin married Miss Ho Kwee Neo, only daughter of a well-known Malacca resident, Mr Ho Eng Wah, in 1932. Chua Boon Hin was a Lieutenant of the 2nd Singapore Volunteer Corps Bn, Straits Settlements Volunteer Force.

Chua Boon Hin (photo courtesy of Sharon Ong)

Mr and Mrs Chua Boon Hin
(source: NewspaperSG)

Straits Settlements Volunteer Force

The origins of the volunteer force began back in 1854, as the unofficial Singapore Voluntary Rifle Corps before getting its official status in 1857. In 1928, the various corps were reorgamised into the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Straits Settlements Volunteer Force. In 1938, the commandant of the 2nd Battalion, Straits Settlements Volunteer Force was Lieutant-Colonel Vere Gordon Stokes and second in command, Major B.E. Ablitt. This was the battalion in which Chua Boon Hin was a volunteered in.

Given the racial attitudes of the day, the two Singapore battalions were segregated. First Battalion’s A Company contained Englishmen, B Company had other Europeans, C Company was Scottish, and D Company Eurasian. In the 2nd Battalion, E Company was Chinese, F Company was Malay, and G Company was a Eurasian machine-gun unit. Second Battalion also oversaw the mixed-race signals unit.
Chinese members of  the Straits Settlement Volunteer Force circa 1941
(source: NewspaperSG) 
Chinese volunteers in training (source: NewspaperSG) 
Chinese volunteers in training (source: NewspaperSG)

A war casualty

Chua Boon Hin died in 20th January 1946 at the age of 36 at the Alexandra Military Hospital. He left behind his wife Madam Queenie Ho, 2 sons (Chua Kong Yen, Chua Kong Lim) and a daughter (Chua Kong Leng). He died likely of war wounds or his status as a soldier who fought the Japanese to warrant him to be the Alexandra Military Hospital, but i am unable to verify further. What is for sure, he is remembered in Kranji War Memorial. He is buried close to his parent's grave in Bukit Brown at Hill 3 Division D.
Chua Boon Hin 
Lieutenant Chua Boon Hin 

Lieutenant Chua Boon Hin 
Remembered in Kranji
Wife: Ho Quee Neo (Queenie Chua)
Madam Chua Boon Hin ( Ho Kwee Neo / Ho Quee Neo) passed away at the age of 96 on July 13, 2008. She is survived by:
Sons: Chua Kong Yen, Bill, (his wife: Chua, Dorothy) ; Chua Kong Lim, (deceased) (his wife: Chua, Sabrina)
Daughter: Chua Kong Leng, Irene (her husband: Lee Show Chee, George).
Grandchildren: Lee Yen, Ian ; Chua, Alvin ; Chua, Christina ; Chua, Geraldine
Ho Quee Neo (Queenie Chua )
(source: NewspaperSG)
Daughter: Chua Kong Leng
In 1951, a 17 years old Miss Chua Kong Leng ( a standard 7 pupil at the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus) won a scholarship worth $100 from the Chinese British Association Volunteer Memorial Fund. That year, both recipients of the scholarship had fathers who died as result of the Japanese Occupation.
Chua Kong Leng 
References
Color presentation to Singapore Volunteers.(1934, May 26). The Straits Times
These Volunteers are keen. (1938, September 11). The Straits Times
800 guest attend Chinese wedding dinner. (1939, January 29). The Straits Times
Instructor and Pupil. (1941, February 7). The Singapore Free Press
Untitled. (1951, March 15). The Straits Times
Obituary. (2008, July 14). The Straits Times
Geck, Yap Pheng. "Scholar, banker, gentlemen soldier: the reminiscences of Dr." Yap Pheng Geck (Singapore, 1982).
Casualty Details. [website]. Commonwealth War Grave Commission

No comments: