John Seng was born as Seng Liang Huat on the twenty-sixth of October 1914. He studied at St. Joseph Institution in Singapore from January 1921 to February 1931. He was a war hero. John—or Johnny, the name he was known to sailors and civilians—was one of the first local employees to join the Victualling department at the naval base when it was formed in 1936. He earned five campaign medals in the Royal Navy during World War II.