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    Changi POW Camp (Selarang Barracks) ¬†Republic of Singapore

Location
Changi POW Camp was located at Selarang Barracks in Changi at the eastern end of Singapore. Nearby was Kitchener Barracks and Roberts Barracks and Changi Prison (Changi Prison Complex).

Construction
Built during 1938 as a British Army barracks building known as Selarang Barracks. Prewar, Selarang Barracks housed the 2nd Battalion  infantry regiment "Gordon Highlanders" predominantly from Northeastern Scotland.

Wartime History
After the British surrender of Singapore on February 15, 1942, this location was used as a Prisoner Of War (POW) camp to detained roughly 50,000 Allied Prisoners Of War (POWs). Most were British plus Australians and Dutch captured in the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia). During the Japanese occupation, roughly 850 POWs died in captivity at this location.

Selarang Barracks incident
On August 30, 1942 the Selarang Barracks incident (Barrack Square incident, Selarang Square Squeeze) happened after the Japanese caught four prisoners who escaped: Breavington, Gale, Waters and Fletcher. As punishment, all prisoners were required to sign a pledge not to escape, but refused. In retaliation, the Japanese forced them outside their barracks into the square for five days with no water or sanitation. On September 2, 1942 the four prisoners who escaped were executed. Although the punishment and threats did not break the POWs, on September 5, 1942 their officers finally agreed to the Japanese terms because their men were becoming ill from dysentery and a lack of water and food. After signed the pledge, the prisoners were allowed to return to their barracks.

Memorials
The four prisoners executed on September 2, 1942 were later buried at Kranji War Cemetery. Breavington at 3. A. 2, Gale at 2. E. 17., Waters at 10. D. 4 and Fletcher at 10. D. 5.

References
CWGC - Rodney Edward Breavington
CWGC - Victor Lawrence Gale
CWGC - Harold Waters
CWGC - Eric Fletcher

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

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