Photographs from "The Selarang Incident"

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 891 SS/7/1
  • Dates of Creation
      1942 - 1946
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      12 items 10 photographs +typed list & envelope

Scope and Content

Photographs with one envelope and list:

  • 1. Panorama of Selarang Square taken at the time of the "incident"
  • 2. That of the Australian corner sewing their socks
  • 3. View of the latrines in the middle of the square
  • 4. Beds made from stretchers and old wood
  • 5. Men sitting on their kits. This gives a fair idea of the overcrowding
  • 6. Two or three "lucky" once who got a place on the verandah, Collins R.I.A.S.C., Gwyn Roberts R.A.S.C.
  • 7. The final day. An officer signing the non-escape from "Under Duress"
  • 8. Scenes on the square during the heavy rain
  • 9. Selarong Square, British Battalion cook house. They are cutting up one of their goats

With these photographs is a typed list describing them and the envelope in which they were sent, addressed to Simmonds at Keble College and postmarked, May 1946.

The Selarang Barracks incident was a revolt of British and Australian prisoners-of-war interned in a Japanese camp in Changi, Singapore.

The events started on 30 August 1942 after the Japanese recaptured four POWs escaped from the Selarang Barracks camps, and required that the other prisoners sign a pledge not to escape. After they refused, they were forced to crowd in the areas around the barracks square for nearly five days with little water and no sanitation. The executions of the recaptured POWs failed to break the men. The commanders, however, finally capitulated on 5 September when their men started to fall ill and die from dysentery. Upon signing the pledge, the men were allowed to return to the barracks buildings. Simmonds was at this camp and these photographs give a clear depiction of some of the conditions.