Before the war, Changi had been a formidable military garrison, but with surrender it now became a place of isolation and numbing drudgery for thousands of new prisoners of war (POWs).
The Japanese left the day-to-day running of the camps to the prisoners due to their sheer numbers, communicating instead through their officers or appointed representatives. To keep the camps in a liveable state, laborious chores and duties were shared among internees, from daily jobs like cooking and cleaning to the disposal of night soil. Precious little time was left over for personal activities before the lights went out each night.
For the internees of Changi, the prospect of imprisonment was grim, but they were determined to endure what lay ahead.