Lt Dann Confiscating Fry Pan & Camp Oven, Changi Gaol

Lt Dann confiscating fry pan in Changi Gaol

This drawing was kindly scanned by Lt Dann’s daughter, Barbara Ross and a copy sent to the Bettany family for inclusion on this site. (Des’ family knew their father gave a lot of his art work away to his mates and it is so good to see scanned copies coming back for inclusion on the site).

“Lt Dann shared with his wife how he had once found a man with a frying pan and that he took it from him as their rules were that cooking things had to be shared, to stop people trying to cook food just for themselves. This image depicts this with what seems to be a camp oven in Lt Dann’s other hand.

Lt Dann died in 1993 just before his 80th birthday.  Like most ex POWs, Lt Dann didn’t divulge much of his war experience to his family, although his family understand that he acted as one of the ‘camp policemen’ at Changi, and that would fit with some of Des Bettany’s cartoons of him.

Who knows what connection Des Bettany had with Lt Dann, as he features in a number of his artwork? Perhaps he was one of the officers attached to Des Bettany’s artillery battery; or maybe Des Bettany, as a 22 year old appreciated Lt Dann’s securing role as ‘camp policeman’, but this is pure speculation.”

Source: The Bettany Family wish to thank Sabrina Smith (nee Dann),  Lt Dann’s grand daughter for supplying the above image & information.

The following could be in reference to Lt Dann:
‘We had our fair share of criminals in the camp, petty & otherwise. “Desperate Dan” was a camp identity. He was virtually the CIB squad & had the appearance of a melodrama villain. He was a hard man but did a good job in cleaning up a lot of the crime around the place.”
Source: The Will To Survive pg 163 by Douglas McLaggan.