POW Camp Sandakan

Accession Number ART94133
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 17 cm x 21.6 cm; image: 12.4 cm x 18.4 cm
Object type Work on paper
Physical description pencil on paper
Maker Woodley, Frederick E
Place made Borneo: North Borneo, Sandakan
Date made c.1943
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Drawing of buildings in the prisoner of war camp at Sandakan, Borneo. Signed with the monogram "FEW", it has been attributed to Cpl. Frederick E. Woodley (VX24588), who died in the camp on 6 February 1945. Featured is the parade ground and main entrance to the prison camp, the large building with the verandah was used by the Japanese as a guard house. Beside this is the cage in which prisoners were interned as a punishment for offences such as stealing food. The Big Tree of Sandakan is also featured in the drawing, a symbol of tremendous significance to many of the Australian prisoners. The tree overlooked the parade ground and evening roll call, and it stood as a meeting place for prisoner-run activities such as lectures on a range of subjects, church services and sing-alongs.
Together with another sketch (ART94134), this drawing was donated to the Australian War Memorial by Lt. Hugh D. Waring (NX65585), who commissioned Woodley to make these visual documents. Waring was imprisoned at Sandakan between July 1942 and October 1943. When the officers were moved to Kuching, Waring took these drawings with him, and subsequently back to Australia when he was repatriated in October 1945.