Chinese massacred in Singapore
18th February 1942: British Prisoners of War witness the beginning of the 'Sook Ching' Massacres
Alastair Urquhart1 was one of the 120,000 British, Indian and Australian troops marched into captivity following the fall of Singapore. It was a humiliating episode for those involved but the true horrors of becoming prisoners of the Japanese were yet to become apparent. The Japanese marched most of the PoWs out of Singapore to the prison at Changi, about eighteen miles away, whilst they enforced their new order in the town:
We were in a very poor state on the march from Fort Canning to Changi. Utterly dejected and deep in despair we trudged along, prodded on by bayonets and with stragglers subjected to vicious treatment by the japanese. There was no defiant singing and little display of pride. We felt defeated and downtrodden. The sheer uncertainty was the worst thing. What was going to happen to us? ...
‘We came face to face with a thicket of severed Chinese heads, speared on poles on both sides of the road. The mutilated bodies of these poor souls lay nearby and the heads, with their eyes rolled back, presented a truly shocking spectacle.’
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