Prior to World War Two, Singapore was touted as the “Gibraltar of the East” and was seen as essential to the defence of British interests in the region. Changi, at the eastern end of Singapore, was to play an important part. Its proximity to the Straits of Johor made it a strategic location, and much effort was spent to turn Changi into a modern coastal artillery base and military living quarters.
The reality would prove very different. After the rapid surrender of Commonwealth forces in Singapore, Changi became the site of one of the most infamous internment camps in the region, bearing witness to the struggles of the men, women and children who were imprisoned there during this traumatic period.