Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My World Tuesday-Changi Chapel

The Changi Chapel has a very long history. It used to be in Changi Prison but has now relocated to the present location (Upper Changi Road North) and it has a musuem beside it.

It was a source of comfort and focal point of social activities for Allied prisoners-of-war in Changi during the Second World War. Today the changi chapel is a point of pilgrimage for veterans and families of ex-POWs.

To read more about it, you can view the source from Infopedia.

I took these pictures from outside the musuem. Too bad, I could not take photos inside the musuem but you can view it at the official website of the changi museum.











This is a notice board where remembrance notes were pinned there. It is quite sad to read some of the notes.


I am thankful for these brave soldiers who fought for us and help protect Singapore during WW2.





These cranes were folded by visitors to the chapel. You can read the above photo on the origins of the cranes.


On a funnier note, my late mom told me during the Japanese Occupation when the siren sounded, my late grandmother told everyone to grab their stuff and run out of the house. My mom was about 12 or 14 years old back then and she was so happy and put on some face powder as she thought they were going on an outing. It was when grandma scolded her that she realised it was "run for your life situation".

They hid in trenches, covered with some banana leaves, built around the villages in Geylang and my youngest aunt who was a baby then, almost died of suffocation, because grandma covered her mouth to prevent her from crying so that the low flying Japanese plane would not be able to know their whereabouts.

After the planes left and it was safe to come out of the trenches. They could not go back to their homes incase the planes come back for them again. So they have to sleep in the outdoors. My mom was clever enough to grab a cooking pot before she run out of the house while most people (including my grandma) grabbed a sack of rice but they do not have a pot to cook. So everyone had to queue to borrow the "precious" cooking pot from mom. There are more horror stories of the war that mom told us. It would take me a long time to type them here.



Please visit "That's my World" for other parts of the world.

21 comments:

Indrani said...

Touching stories of war you still remember. Hope the coming generations don't see one more! Good series of shots presented.

Grammy said...

Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos. And The story from your Mom.

Photo Cache said...

that's a very historic church. i enjoyed your story about the war and your mother's experience.

Arija said...

War is frighening and tragic no matter where. People just never learn.

Wren said...

It's hard for me to imagine what it's like living in a state of war. I've been very lucky so far to have not experienced that. Your mother, and her mother, sound very brave and resourceful.

Lilli & Nevada said...

What a fabulous set of photos. And story

LadyFi said...

What an interesting post! You never really think about the role played by chapels during wars...

Jama said...

I was born after the war,but hearing my mom and grandma story about the japanese soldiers really scared me.

alicesg said...

Thanks all for your nice comments. Glad you enjoyed the little story of my mom.

Jama, I am glad I was born after the war too. I presumed you and me are the post war baby bloomers generation. :) We have a lot to learn about the wars from our parents. But my kids are sick of listening to these stories cause they can get first hand news from their text books but those text books dont tell so much as what our parents told us.

My dad told me he was so hungry during the war, that he had to eat the barks off the tree. I could write a thick book of all the stories I heard ...lol

Babooshka said...

As you say born after but able to have first hand knowledge from those born before.Vey poignant post.

B Squared said...

Very interesting. Thanks for the info.

Reader Wil said...

How interesting, Alice! I was also a POW in Java in one of the concentration camps, where all Dutch people were interned. My mum and the three children came in the same camp in Semarang, where we stayed for 2 1/2 years. After the bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were dropped we stayed 2 months in Indonesia, then the British helped us escape because the Indonesian people wanted us back in the concentrationcamps. We left the few things we still had, in Indonesia, and were taken by the British to Singapore, where we stayed a couple of weeks before leaving to our homeland The Netherlands.

Lisa Wilson said...

Great photos and great historical story to go with them! Thanks for visiting my blog.

Gattina said...

Interesting post ! but sad souvenirs !

the donG said...

it's a nice way to remember those gallant soldiers. the messages on the notes are surely something you should keep.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

The oral histories run deep: it would be nice to be able to capture them on paper, it's often keeping them alive by retelling them out loud that counts the most.

bettyl said...

What a tour! thanks for all the lovely photos and info!

alicesg said...

Am glad you all came and visit and left comments. Appreciated it.

Reader Wil, am so sorry about you being POW in Indonesia but am glad you are now around to tell the story. It must be scary and torturing to be in your position. My late grandpa almost became a victim during WW2. He was one of the men being rounded up and taken to the beach. They had to stand in a straight row while the Japanese Soldiers fired at them with rifles. Grandpa was lucky not to be hit but he pretend to fall on the beach and play dead. When the soldiers left, Grandpa and some others who were not injured too hid and make their way back to their homes. Those not lucky to survive were just left to rot by the beach.

innergybeauty said...

Nice and historic photos. Have a wonderful week ahead.

magiceye said...

that was such an interesting and lovely post. the chapel photo is so well composed!

antigoni said...

Always war has sad stories to tell.
My grand mother told me stories from WW2, too. So many horror, fear and death.