‘You Call This A Shower!!’


‘One man who had to make frequent trips to the city was Norman Coulson, a Public Works Department water engineer who had flatly refused to leave with others from the PWD who attempted to escape by boat. The water system at Changi was constantly in need of repairs and replacements – no doubt helped by a little sabotage – and Coulson, as the only expert, was detailed to buy the spare parts in Singapore. Before long he was in touch with the Chinese underground movement.’

Source: Sinister Twilight: The Fall of Singapore by Noel Barker, pg 269.

“But Changi was not finished yet – not by a long chalk. Parties that went out to work stole lengths of inch piping and, with it, showers were installed in each courtyard. And the Engineers made the taps on the wash basins work, by some weird magic known only to Engineers.”
“The day’s work over building the airdrome, just as it began to darken a little, we would march back to gaol. Once inside we streamed into the courtyards, all at once hundreds upon hundreds of naked men milling round the few showers, washing themselves and their G strings. Washing cheerfully but urgently with their lump of gaol made soap and the water which the Nips left on for only half an hour”
Source: The Naked Island by Russell Braddon; 1955 edition Pan Books Ltd, Pg245, 265

‘From March to August 1945 our new premises outside the gaol were not conducive to any activities other than work. There were some ten long wooden huts with thatched roofs, each holding about eighty men. Generally, because of the nature of the work, we got very dirty, and one of the few pleasures was showering at the end of the day’s activity. We were issued with some rather crude soap which was made in the gaol from fat and caustic soda. The couple of occasions when we were given soap from Red Cross parcels were indeed a great luxury. Towards the end of our internment we experienced a major disaster, that is, we were confronted with a shortage of water. The water supply from Singapore at that time came mainly from Malaya, but we were used to using as much as we wanted for ablutions, cooking and any other purpose for which water can be and is used. Restrictions on showering were a great inconvenience and the conditions of the water gradually deteriorated.’ 
Source: You’ll Never Get Off The Island by Keith Wilson; 1989, Pg 106