Watson, William (Sergeant; b.1915 - d.1988)

Accession Number PR05269
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 1.5 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Diary
Maker Watson, William
Place made Singapore, Thailand
Date made 1942-1944
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Collection relating to the Second World War service of S/101508 Sergeant William Watson, Royal Army Service Corps (RASC), British Army, prisoner of war, Singapore, Changi, Thailand, 1942-1944.

Wallet 1 of 1 - Consists of a diary Watson maintained from 15 February 1942 to 2 January 1944 during his time as a prisoner of war to the Japanese. He describes the heavy shelling and bombing in the lead up to the fall of Singapore, of marching to Changi prison camp and of his experiences there, the hot weather and scarcity of water, food and tobacco, daily rations, playing cards, scrounging for food, illness, and attending church services and receiving communion. There is a break in entries between 2 November 1942, when Watson arrived at Bampong in Thailand to labour on the Burma-Thailand Railway, and 2 April 1943. He recounts his experiences traveling to the work camp and labouring on the railway, describes the living conditions and frequency of dysentery and malaria, and writes of how the prisoners were treated by the Japanese.