Changi Gaol & Selerang Barracks Area: Chapel; The Gaol From The East (Feb 1945)

Changi scenes 2Changi Gaol & Selerang Barracks Area 1945

‘5,000 POWs were moved into the prison, built to hold 800 prisoners. It was cold, foul smelling. Each cell, crawling with bugs, was approx 6ft x 8 ft and had a concrete block in the centre which served as a bed for one prisoner. Two more prisoners slept on the floor on either side. One small window approx. a foot square gave a little light and the much needed fresh air while a hole in the floor in one corner served as a toilet.
A further 12,000 POWs were concentrated in the surrounding area of the jail, living in camps made up of attap huts and rough accommodation. The Outram Road Jail was used as a punishment camp.

For over sixty years the name Changi has remained synonymous with hardship and cruelty, borne during this horrific chapter in British military history, a name that will not easily be forgotten. It will remain a lasting bitter memory to all those who were unfortunate enough to have been interned in the miserable foulness within its formidable stone walls or in the surrounding camps within its shadows.’


“At Changi Gaol, were concentrated about seven thousand men – the remnants of F & H Force, the workers of Changi Aerodrome, the Changi Administration.
Changi Gaol was one of His Majesty’s most modern prisons, proudly surmounted by a gleaming concrete tower, which in it’s turn was surmounted by a radar screen which did not work, which in its turn was surmounted by a flag mast bearing the Japanese flag. It has been designed to hold six hundred native felons.”
Source: The Naked Island by Russell Braddon; 1955 edition Pan Books Ltd, Pg244