SINGAPORE: “Without John and his generation of officers, we would not have today’s SAF (Singapore Armed Forces),” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote of the late John Morrice.
The retired Army Colonel died on Oct 24 of a heart attack. He was 79.
In a Facebook post on Monday (Oct 27) evening, Mr Lee said he was saddened to read of the news. “John helped to build the SAF,” the Prime Minister said in his tribute. Mr Morrice joined the Singapore Military Forces when Singapore was still a British colony and decided to continue to stay with Singapore when the Republic left Malaysia. He also trained the “legendary first batch” of officers to graduate from the Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute (SAFTI) as their Officer Commanding. He was also President of the SAF Veterans League after retirement.
Mr Lee reminisced that he had worked under Mr Morris as a young SAF officer. “When I joined the General Staff, he was one of the senior commanders we worked closely with. So I was happy to see him do this video for the Pioneer Generation Package,” he said, referring to a video by gov.sg.
“My deepest condolences to Mrs Morrice and the family,” Mr Lee added.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen had earlier expressed sadness on the colonel’s death. “He is a shining example of a devoted soldier who served his country to the best of his abilities and for as long as he could,” he wrote on Facebook.
The Singapore Army also posted a farewell note on Facebook, describing Mr Morrice as “a shining example of devotion and service, a faithful soldier and son of Singapore.”