Almost one million Australians served their country during World War II.
Of these, over 22,900 men and women became prisoners-of-war (POW) of the
Imperial Japanese Army in Asia.
After the fall of Singapore in February 1942, the Japanese used the
Changi Peninsula Barracks and Gaol to imprison over 50,000 allied troops
and civilians. Other Allied POWs came to Changi and then went on to
labour in Borneo, the Dutch East Indies, Formosa, Indo-China, Japan,
Korea, Manchuria, Singapore and on the infamous Burma-Thai railway.
The story of Changi has become synonymous with the POW experience of
legendary heroism, hardship and suffering.
In Asia over 8,000 Australians died in captivity but many more, who
survived the horrors of their captivity, owed their lives to the doctors
and their medical orderlies. Using hopelessly inadequate medical
equipment and few drugs they struggled to counteract the effects of
starvation, disease and captor brutality.
1. Kitchener Barracks
Main accommodation for British and a few Dutch POW until May 1943 and
then used by Japanese.
2. Roberts Barracks
Main camp hospital until May 1943.
3. India Barracks
British POW camp until May 1943.
4. Changi Village
Small village for local population.
5. Pre-War Railway
Designed to service 15 inch (38 cm) gauge. Dismantled by Japanese.
6. Original Changi Airfield
Commenced in September 1943 by POW for Japanese Airforce. Today part of
Changi International Airport.
7. Changi Cemetery
POW buried here until 1945. All later moved to Kranji Commonwealth War
Cemetery at northern tip of island.
8. Three 15 inch Guns
Part of British artillery defence of Singapore. Dismantled by Japanese.
9. Selarang Barracks
Australian accommodation until May 1943. The 2,000 POW not transported
as labourers confined here. Occupied by Japanese Airforce in 1944 and
all Allied POW moved to Changi Prison.
10. Changi Prison
Designed in 1938 to hold 650 men. Detained here were 3,500 white
civilian prisoners, including women and children. They were moved in May
1944 and replaced by 12,000 Allied POW including survivors of the
Burma-Thai railway, Italians and Americans.
11. Present Changi International Airport.