The Gunseikanbu (Central Military Administration) initially used Changi as an internment camp for combatants and civilians of Western origin. Like many such sites during the war, internees were often moved into and out of Changi.
The majority of military prisoners of war (POWs) were the tens of thousands of Australian and British troops who had fought in the Battle for Singapore. Senior officers were held briefly in Changi before being moved to places like Manchuria, Japan and Formosa (present-day Taiwan), while other soldiers were sent to the Thai-Burma “Death Railway” and never returned.
In contrast to the male military population, civilian internees comprised a mix of men, women and children, as well as civilians of Asian descent related to British citizens by marriage or birth. A number of Eurasians were interned in February 1942, with many more added later in the Occupation. By 1945, over 90,000 people would pass through Changi camp.