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March to Changi by Robert Harper

Image: March to Changi by Robert Harper

Cambridge University Library has conserved original WWII records from the Changi and Sime Road civilian interment camps on Singapore, with the assistance of two-year funding from the Wellcome Trust. Read blog-posts written by our project conservators and archivist.

The Library appreciates the importance of these documents to those families seeking information about family members who were interned in the Japanese camps, and is concerned not to disclose data of a sensitive and personal nature that may offend any surviving internees or their immediate family. We are keen to make contact with the families of internees to alert them to the existence of these records. Should they have any concerns then we would be pleased to discuss these with them, and may be reached by phone on 01223 333146, by email: or by post. Please address letters to RCS Curator, Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DR.  We would be very happy to ring people back and discuss any concerns they might have over the data.

It is the Nominal rolls in the archive which include the most personal data. Each roll is slightly different but in general they list an internee's name, their camp registration number, camp address/hut number, their age (at the time of the nominal roll), nationality, and in the remarks section they might list the internee's pre-war occupation. Some include family relationships e.g. sister of, or list the country in which they were working prior to internment. Occasionally they list camp earnings, or a death in camp, when they would give the date of death of the named individual. Men, women and children were listed separately.

The archive includes files from Changi and Sime Road kept by John Weekley who served as Men's Representative, Changi Civilian Internment Camp, and as Commandant of one of the camp areas.

They also include the files of Camp Quartermaster Norman Rowlstone Jarrett.

Newspapers produced in the camp have also been digitised - the Karikal Chronicle,the Changi Guardian and the Changi Chimes.  These were written and circulated by the internees and include short pieces by a mix of named and anonymous authors/internees.

Individual diaries, letters, plays and memoirs held as part of our archive have also been digitised.  A list of these may be downloaded. (changi_diligence3.pdf)

We are particularly keen to contact the families of the authors of these items to ensure they have no objections to us publishing them online, and would be happy to forward printed copies of this list to those unable to access it online.  We would welcome any information that might help us make proper attributions, identify copyright owners, or correct copyright acknowledgements.

Should an internee's family only become aware of a family record in the archive after we have put it online, then we will remove the image or images and any related information within three days of being notified.

We were in contact with the late Mr Ron Bridge and remain in contact with members of COFEPOW, the Java Far East Prisoners of War Club 1942, the Malayan Volunteers Group and the Researching FEPOW History Group.  Cambridge University Library is keen to ensure the digital archive correctly identifies and acknowledges authors and copyright holders.The images created for this project will be made available for re-use for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons licence (CC-BY-NC).

Contact us

Please address enquiries about RCS holdings to:

RCS Curator
Cambridge University Library
West Road


Please note that we are unable to provide valuations.  We recommend you contact a specialist antiquarian bookseller or auction house.