The image has an interesting background because by 1943 there were no watches available in any of the camps. All of the men’s watches had been traded for food or much needed drugs for the Hospital, trading with either the Guards or locals.

The man collecting the clocks is Lt. Dann, who appears in 5 of Des’s works with his characteristic red moustache and unique hat. It appears from our research that he was the camp policeman. Why he was collecting so many watches and clocks is a mystery. We would be pleased if anyone could enlighten us!

 Lt Dann was born in South London on 10th June 1913, and served with the 118th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. He died in 1993 just before his 80th birthday

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

The son of an ex POW states:

‘my Dad let his watch go in Changi Jail and never bought another, he managed perfectly well without one for the rest of his life. Like all the other POW he became uncannily accurate at guessing what time it was.’”

Source: http://www.researchingfepowhistory.org.uk/