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Title:THE RAF ARRIVES IN SINGAPORE [Allocated Title]
Film Number:ABY 137
Other titles:ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: Views of a troopship convoy to Singapore, views of the city, and Allied prisoners liberated from Changi prison camp.
Description: Views from a troopship with land on the horizon. RAF Regiment gunners man a 20mm gun; the gun is traversed. Female personnel on deck (their unit is not clear). Bomb damage at Singapore; a warehouse or factory building reduced to twisted metal. At sea two men are silhouetted against the setting sun. A ship signals with Morse code. The sun sets. RAF Regiment airmen disembarking at Singapore. Men line the deck rails with local Malays on the quayside. Armed RAF men coming down the gangway before marching away. View through the windscreen of a car driving along a street in central Singapore; the car has a Union flag tied to its bonnet. Civilians lining the streets. Slow pan over a group of Allied POWs liberated from Changi jail. Groups of POWs at the jail and the hospital. Most of the men are clothed though some are shirtless and appear very thin. The men appear in high spirits. Back onboard a troopship; other ships are keeping station close by. View over the rooftops of Singapore. More shots from Changi; some POWs are desperately thin. An emaciated POW, wearing nothing but a loincloth and a pair of sandals, is attended to by a Medical Officer with a stethoscope. Ten skeletal POWs in loincloths walk past camera. Two equally thin POWs compare each other's protruding ribs and hip bones; they appear to be in good spirits. A number of POWs hobble towards the camera.
Production Details: Air Ministry, Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor)
Royal Air Force Film Production Unit (Production company)
Tookey, C E W (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Royal Air Force (regiment/service)
Royal Air Force, Royal Air Force Regiment (regiment/service)
Keywords: Singapore (geography)
Changi, Singapore (geography)
Liberation of Singapore Island 1945, Malaya, Second World War (event)
Recovery of Allied Prisoners of War and Internees 1945, Allied Prisoners of War Far East 1939-1945, Internment (event)
Royal Air Force 1939-1945 (theme)
Far East 1939-1945 (theme)
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 1003 ft; Running time: 12 minutes
Notes: The RAF Regiment unit seen is probably 2896 Field Squadron, the first to arrive in Singapore. In which case, the troopshire is HMT Derbyshire.
An improvised radio receiver created by members of the Changi camp was donated to the IWM by Flying Officer Jeffery Skinner, IWM ref COM 567. A family member of another inmate at Changi camp, Flying Officer T D Boyce, visited the museum and came across the radio. Flying Officer Boyce operated the radio receiver alongside Flying Officer Skinner. She has also identified her father in this film.
Other film and photographic coverage of this event can be found at the references below.
Extensive holdings in the Department of Documents relating to the experience of prisoners at Changi can be found by searching the Documents catalogue under 'Changi'.
Patricia Webb identified her father at 6 minutes 39 seconds, he is the second man in from the right hand side of the screen. At 6 minutes 40 seconds he appears in the second row from the front, three from the right hand side of the screen. And at 6 minutes 41 he is in the second row from the front, five faces in fron the right hand side, with his arm raised waiving to camera. (HU 01.07.16)
MGH 70 (JAPANESE PROPAGANDA FILM OF ALLIED PRISONERS OF WAR [Allocated Title])
ABY 136 (LIBERATED PRISONERS OF WAR AT CHANGI JAIL, SINGAPORE [Allocated Title])
COM 567 ()