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Mrs Joan Wight, mother, taken into Internment at Singapore

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Joan returned to Singapore in 1939 and set up a riding school and boarding kennels, as well as volunteering for the Blood Transfusion Section in the Ambulance Service. Her mother insisted on taking the two children to Australia Ω. The first real sign of war was the bombing of Seletar, but even then many civilians did not appreciate the seriousness of what was to befall them. For Joan it came quickly while she was at the hospital and saw the results of the fighting Ω.

Military wounded were separated from civilians and the civilians eventually moved to Changi Ω. They settled in but in the tense conditions that prevailed they formed a tiny close knit group that stayed together throughout their captivity Ω. A small group devised a plan to communicate with the men but this was nearly discovered and discontinued on account of the danger posed to everyone Ω. Food was prepared in the menís camp and although of poor quality afforded another opportunity to communicate with the others Ω. Caring for the Japanese guardsí ducks offered the opportunity to supplement the diet Ω . Medical facilities were insufficient with no specialist care available Ω and although treatment by the Japanese was better than other Internment Camps, it could be very unpleasant Ω. The top floor was used by those with husbands in the military to try and get a glimpse of their loved ones Ω. They were later moved to Sime Road, later discovering that the survivors from the Burma Railway had returned to Changi Ω. However, the pressures of camp life did not always bring out the best in everyone Ω.

A secret radio gave the first indication of the coming of the end of the war Ω followed by the arrival of British Forces.

Released from captivity she was unable to get any information about her family until the October when she was asked to come to England urgently because her mother was very ill Ω. In the aftermath of war, with Singapore as a great hub for repatriation, getting a passage proved very difficult until eventually a series of RAF flights brought her back to England.   

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Unfinished watercolour of the Rose Garden, Changi

Another side of Changi

 

 

Sketch of Sime Road Camp