Records of Headquarters FARELF (Far East Land Forces) and ANZUK Force (Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom)

Accession Number AWM200
Collection type Official Record
Object type Official Record
Date made 1955-1917
Conflict Southeast Asia (SEATO, FESR, ANZUK), 2 July 1955 - 14 March 1975

Item copyright: Commonwealth of Australia copyright


This series contains the registered files of Headquarters Far
East Land Forces, relating to policy and administrative aspects of
the British Commonwealth Far East Strategic Reserve.

They are arranged in accordance with a three number system based on a
subject classification scheme.


In 1955 the Commonwealth Strategic Reserve was formed in Malaya to
include nominated forces of the United Kingdom, New Zealand and
Australia. Its purpose was to contribute to the maintenance of peace
and security in the South East Asian area when Malaya became
independent in 1957. The United Kingdom, which prior to Malaya's
independence was responsible for defence and internal security in
Malaya, concluded a Defence Agreement with Malaya under which it
assumed treaty commitments for the defence of Malaya. Australia
whilst not being a party to this defence agreement was associated
with it in regard to Australian forces which formed part of the
Strategic Reserve by an exchange of letters in 1959 between the
Malayan and Australian Prime Ministers.


HQ FARELF responsibilities were for operation command and for
administration other than the purely Australian administration.
Independence of Malaysia, the assumption of direct responsibility by
the Malaysian Ministry of Defence for all emergency operations
(Malaya, Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore) and the establishment of the
Commander in Chief Far East headquarters altered significantly the
functions of the army headquarters. HQ FARELF although retaining a
very close interest in operations no longer controlled them.

HQ FARELF continued to administer the BCFESR, supporting the
non-Federation forces engaged in emergencies, providing some training
facilities for all forces and some support to the Federation Military
Forces. HQ FARELF was also responsible for maintaining the Base and
for planning and combat development for SEATO and other South East
Asian defence.

The subject matter of the files reflects the administrative and
policy aspects as they relate to these primary responsibilities.
Topics covered include deaths of servicemen, administration of the
Force, communications, cost sharing, the Army Advisory Working Group,
establishments, policy files and files on the various exercises.


On 15 October 1970, HQ FARELF was co-located at Tanglin and absorbed
HQ Singapore District.

On 1 November 1970, HQ FARELF was reduced to a 2 star level. FARELF
was no longer responsible for the support of Brunei after 1 April

Logistic support for ANZ forces was ceased on 1 July 1971 except
where arrangements were made for the UK to provide logistic support
as single manager for the integrated ANZUK Force post 1971. HQ
FARELF reduced in size from 1 April 1969 and was further reduced from
1 April 1971. HQ remained until December 1971.

From January 1971 to June 1971, "Force Command" - HQ FARELF
decreasing reponsibility, passing to HQ ANZ Force. July 1971 to
December 1971 - "Force Command" to pass to ANZ Force HQ as from
September 1971.

By late 1971 HQ FARELF and HQ Singapore Area was reduced
considerably. Their place was taken in November by a one star
Headquarters which assumed command of all remaining army elements
less the covering force, and came directly under Headquarters Far
East Command.

With the disbandment of HQ FARELF the responsibilities and functions
were assumed by elements of the ANZUK Force responsible for the
administration and operations of the Australia, UK and NZ units
serving under the ANZUK command.