The Danish pilot Poul Henrichsen worked for the East Asiatic Company in Singapore before the war. In October 1941, he volunteered for flying training at the Government Flying Training School in Singapore. The article tells the story of this establishment.
An Elementary Flying Training School was established at Kallang, Singapore, in 1940 as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme. This school was run by the Malayan Volunteer Air Force supported by personnel from the Royal Air Force, and was financed by the Malayan Government. Hence, it is referred to as the Government Flying Training School.
About 100 pilots were trained at the flying school before the fall of Singapore. The recruits were men undet the age of 24 who previously had no training in flying whatsoever. They were trained for the RAF, to do service in any part of the world wherever they are wanted. The cadets underwent a two-months intensive training course in Singapore including both flying training and courses in a series of grund subjects. Each course was limited to sixteen cadets at a time. At the end of the course there where written, oral and practical examination, and—if passing successfully—the cadet would be transferred to the Royal Air Force for advanced training overseas.
Initially the cadets had to be British Subjects, but by an amendment to the Volunteer Air Force Ordinance in November 1940, foreign nationals subject to the Governors’ approval became eligible to join the Malayan Volunteer Air Force and the Government Flying Training School. A number of experienced foreign pilots and members of the local flying clubs, including Danes, had by then expressed a desire to be allowed to join.
The first batch of sixteen cadets were enrolled in the MVAF on 10 August 1940. Fourteen graduated from the course and were handed over to the RAF at a function at Kallang on 17 October 1940. They continued training in Canada.The last two fell ill with Malaria during the course and did not succeed. Two days later, the second batch were enrolled. The twelve cadets trained until January 1941 and continued to Iraq. Of the third batch, which followed in January 1941, only a single name is reported by the local press: later Flt Lt Cyril Lionel Francis Talalla, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar during the war. He was the first non-European to join. The names of the following two courses were listed in the newspapers. Sixteen cadets enrolled on 22 March 1941 of which twelve seem to have succeeded. The fifth batch of thirteen followed in June 1941. Ten cadets seem to have graduated in August allowing the sixth course to take over the training facilities. Only two of the fourteen cadets were names in the press: later Warrant Officer Henry Conrad Benjamin Talalla (KIA 25 July 1944), the brother of Cyril Talalla, and later Flt Lt Kay Hai Tan, DFC. The final course began on 25 October 1941 and ran until few days before the fall of Singapore.
The Danish pilot, and later Flt Lt Poul Henrichsen was part of this course. He continued training in Rhodesia after having left Singapore in the beginning of February 1942. He was killed in action on 1 March 1945.
As part of the research for this article a list of cadets trained at the Government Flying Training School was made.
 AVM Maltby (1948). No. 38216 Report on the air operations during the campaigns in Malaya and Netherland East Indies from 8th December, 1941 to 12th March 1942, p. 1357.
 Malayan Airmen Complete Course in Morning Tribune, 5 October 1940, p. 8, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/morningtribune19401005-1.2.47 (accessed on 29 July 2021).
 Aliens May Now Join Volunteer Air Force in The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 18 November 1940, p. 7, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/singfreepressb19401118-1.2.67 (accessed on 29 July 2021).
 Flying School Courses Begun in Malaya Tribune, 14 August 1940, Page 3.
 Malayan Airmen to Train in Canada in Malaya Tribune, 18 October 1940, Page 3, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/maltribune19401018-1.2.26 (accessed on 29 July 2021).
 Record "A" Licences For Singapore Flyers in Malaya Tribune, 10 January 1941, Page 3, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/maltribune19410110-1.2.45 (accessed on 29 July 2021).
 Another Batch of Selected in The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 6 March 1941, Page 7, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/singfreepressb19410306-1.2.59 (accessed on 29 July 2021).
 R.A.F. Cadets’ Parade in The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 14 October 1941, Page 5, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/singfreepressb19411014-1.2.49 (accessed on 29 July 2021).