Royal Garrison Artillery barracks at Pulau Blakang Mati (Sentosa)

The Hong Kong and Singapore Battalion Royal Garrison Artillery (or Royal Garrison Artillery in short) was a British military unit comprised of Sikh and Muslim troops from Punjabi commanded by British officers. Originally formed in Hong Kong in 1841 as the China Gun Lascars, it was subsequently renamed the Hong Kong Asiatic Artillery in 1891. A Singapore Company of Asiatic Artillery was established that same year and assigned to man the coastal batteries at Pulau Blakang Mati (Island Behind Death), which was an important military base used by the British for the defence of the port of Singapore.Men and officers of the Asiatic Artillery stationed on Pulau Blakang Mati were initially housed in temporary tents, shed and barracks. This increased the unit’s exposure to the elements and resulted in many of the troops catching tropical diseases. By the time the unit was renamed the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1898, facilities on the island had improved considerably. The Garrison was housed in newly-built permanent barracks, with improved sanitation facilities and better water supply.