Tag Archives: 3 April


By Sears Eldredge

On 3 April, the first party of POWs was sent from Changi to an undisclosed overseas location – perhaps to Saigon.[i] This was also the date on which the Japanese guards manning the checkpoints between the different Areas of Changi were replaced by former Sikh soldiers of the 3rd Indian Corps who had willingly – or unwillingly – become members of the Indian National Army and allies of the Japanese. Relieved of this responsibility, the Japanese soldiers were detailed to patrol inside the huge POW encampment to spot any infractions of the rules or trouble brewing.

When the pestilential bugler is a-bugling, and the
Whistle is a-piping for P.T;
When the Sergeant-Major’s shouting, and the Sikhs are
up and clouting,
Then you know you’re home in Changi by the sea![1]

[1] From “A Prisoner’s Lot Is Not A Happy One” – a parody of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “A Policemen’s Lot Is Not A Happy One.”

[i] Nelson, 20.

Note that all the documents in this series of blogs reside in Sears A. Eldredge Archive in the De Witt Wallace Library at Macalester College, 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55105

Sear’s book, Captive Audiences/Captive Performers: Music and Theatre as Strategies for Survival on the Thailand-Burma Railway 1942-1945, was published by Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2014, as an open-access e-book and is available here: http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/thdabooks/22