History of the Camp.
Changi camp was originally built for the British Army in the late 1920’s, as a site for the “Monster” guns that had been deployed to defend Singapore Island from a sea borne attack, as it was considered that an invasion down through the jungles of the Malay peninsular was an impossibility. Unfortunately, for the people of Singapore, the Japanese had not read the rule book and chose the impossible route, with great success, resulting in the capitulation and humiliation of the island’s defenders in February 1942. Details of the surrender and the following occupation by the Japanese Army are fully described in many books including “The History of Changi” by our late president, Air Commodore Henry Probert.
After approximately three and a half years it was Japan’s turn to surrender and in 1945 the camp was handed over to the Royal Air Force who re-laid and lengthened the Japanese built runway and developed the field into a fully serviceable airfield. The RAF were to remain at Changi until late 1971, when it was sold back to the people of Singapore for the princely sum of one Singapore dollar, to be used by their armed services and eventually to become Singapore International Airport.
In mid 2003 the majority of the camp was razed to the ground, one of the exceptions being block 151 where the Changi Murals, painted by Stanley Warren during his incarceration by the Japanese, are still to be found. Unfortunately, due to security implications, access to these paintings is no longer possible, by the general public, but first class reproductions can be seen at the Changi Chapel Museum, 1000 Upper Changi Road North, Singapore, 507707