The Courageous Elizabeth Choy

Choy was born on 29th November 1910, in the Hakka family, in Kudat, North Borne. Her father went through some English Education in the primary education and became a civil servant. He married a daughter of a priest. He rose through ranks and became a district officer at Kazimantan.

Choy studied at St. Monica boarding where she acquired the name “Elizabeth.” She proceeded to Raffles College for higher education. However, her parents were not able to support her education more, and she opted to become a teacher at St. Margaret School and later at St. Andrews school.

The Courageous Elizabeth Choy

Choy’s contribution to Singapore

She served as the second lieutenant in the women’s auxiliary of the Singapore volunteer corps. She also became a volunteer nurse at the auxiliary medical service. Elizabeth opened a canteen at the Tan Tockseng hospital after the fall of Singapore.

She was so instrumental at helping the prisoners of war at the time when the Japanese military made an invasion of Singapore. She passed fresh clothes, cash, and letters to the prisoners and at times the parts of radio that they would use to communicate.

Things went sour when an informer reported Choy to a Japanese Military Officer who arrested Choy’s husband. When Choy made a follow up at the Kempaitai East District Branch, the Japanese officers denied his whereabouts. Later, Choy was arrested and detained alongside other prisoners.

When the Japanese surrendered in September 1945, the Governor’s wife honored Choy because she assisted her to get supplies while she was a prisoner of war. Choy was at the official function of the same ceremony escorted by the governor.


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