This building is home to the headquarters of St. John Ambulance, an organisation that played an important role in Singapore by providing medical courses before the mid-20th century when the country’s medical infrastructure was still underdeveloped. It was pivotal in providing emergency medical services and training volunteers in first-aid.
By the late 1930s, the Singapore headquarters became in charge of the other St. John Ambulance sub-centres in Malaya. After the war, the organisation continued its humanitarian work, and volunteers were often at the frontline of relief work during civil emergencies.
Eventually, the organisation required a better-equipped facility, and thus moved its operations to the former St. Peter’s Church. It shifted again to another site at Gilstead Road before making its permanent base along Beach Road.