SINGAPORE (20/10/1945)

This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: ABY 181).


Scenes from recently-liberated Singapore, including aerial views of the harbour, Japanese internees being put to work and the evacuation of freed Allied prisoners by hospital ship.

A group of Japanese prisoners are escorted along a road in Singapore under armed guard. A large number of civilians crowd around, evidently delighted. Aerial views, taken from an RAF Short Sunderland flying boat, of Singapore and of the harbour with a variety of naval and civilian vessels. Views from the water as the Sunderland taxis; the aircraft passes a Landing Ship Tank, laden with lorries, with its bow doors open. Air Vice Marshal John Breakey, Air Officer Commanding Air Headquarters Malaya, aboard a Landing Craft Personnel (Large) to visit an RAF headquarters ship. Japanese prisoners of war at work filling in trenches on the Padang, home of the Singapore Cricket Club. Buildings in the background appear to include the Supreme Court Building and the Victoria Memorial Hall. Close-ups of the prisoners at work. A crowd of local civilians watch the prisoners work and applaud. Lorries and ambulances driving through the city towards the docks. One of the vehicles is a cumbersome-looking jeep fitted to carry two stretchers and a medic in addition to the driver. Ambulances of various models arriving at the docks; the hospital ship HMHS Amarapoora (No. 7) is berthed. The stern and bow of the Amarapoora; 'Glasgow' can be seen on the stern. Indian personnel, probably of the Indian Army Medical Corps, carry stretcher cases up a gangplank. Sailors carry more stretcher cases; some of the patients are clearly severely underweight. Working party of Japanese prisoners in front of Municipal Hall. Very dim footage of Japanese aircraft concealed under trees near Kallang Airport. A Japanese aircraft parked amongst trees with local children playing on it. One child sits in the cockpit and the control surfaces can be seen moving. A Japanese character on the tailfin suggests 'HQ'.


At one point another hospital ship is seen. It is marked '36', so is probably HMHS Karapara.

Amarapoora was an 8,000-ton vessel built in 1920 for the British & Burmese Steam Navigation Company. She was requisitioned in 1939 and converted to a 503-bed hospital ship, seeing service in home waters, the Mediterranean and the Far East. She was released to the Ministry of Transport in 1946 and served as an emigrant ship to Australia and also repatriated French nationals from Indo-China and Dutch nationals from Indonesia. Renamed Captain Hobson in 1951 she also served as a troopship during the 1956 Suez Crisis. Scrapped in Osaka, Japan 1959.

Naval vessels seen include a Dido class cruiser, probably HMS Cleopatra. Also a number of Fairmile B motor launches and an escort carrier.

The Singapore Cricket Club was established in 1853 with 28 members and based on the Padang, a large green space in the heart of Singapore's government and business district. In time the club became a prestigious organisation with membership carrying considerable kudos in middle-class colonial society. The Club is still in existence with over 3300 members and supporting 13 different sports.

Scenes aboard HMHS Amarapoora can be seen in the photographs referenced below. See related items.

The 'Japanese' aircraft seen at the end of the reel is in fact an American-built Curtiss-Wright CW-22 Falcon, a two-seat trainer based on the CW-21 light interceptor. Sold to the Netherlands for use in the Dutch East Indies, it was captured by the Japanese and used by the Imperial Japanese Army.

Japanese internees can be seen at work in photographs, taken by a British Army photographer, referenced below.

No dates on slates. Date above from dopesheet.



  • SINGAPORE (20/10/1945) (Allocated)
Series Title:

Technical Data

Running Time:
8 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
664 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Air Ministry Directorate of Public Relations
Hughes, H R (Flight Sergeant)
Production company
Royal Air Force Film Production Unit



Production Organisations