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On the 28th August 1945 British Liberator bombers swooped low over the Changi Gaol Prison of War Camp in war torn Singapore. Leaflets fluttered down from the aircraft bringing the first news of the Japanese surrender. Emotions within the thousands of sick and emaciated prisoners ran high as news of their impending liberation spread around the camp. Later thousands of prisoners stood within the walls of the Goal and with tears in their eyes, sang “Land of Hope and Glory” as the Union Jack was broken out on the camp flagpole. After nearly three and a half years as “guests” of the Japanese military their legend of human endurance was over – they were going home.

Due to the severe impact of restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and consequent delays to the museums volunteer work programme, the Museum Trustees have recently decided not to re-open the museum to visitors until  2021. Volunteering at the museum will however continue and focus on the completion of the delayed projects in preparation for a full programme from Easter next year.

Consequently our plans to commemorate the anniversary of the first news of liberation in Singapore in late August have now been postponed until summer 2021.  Other FEPOW organisations have also postponed their VJ commemorations until next year because of the pandemic and we therefore hope to co-ordinate with them to ensure that the memory of FEPOW is duly honoured.

However to ensure that the 75th anniversary of VJ Day on 15th August 2020 is actually marked war memorial steam locomotive SINGAPORE is shortly to receive a thorough clean and polish and we will post suitable text and photographs at the time of the 75th anniversary of VJ Day – in memoriam.

On the 60th Anniversary of VJ Day held in London in 2005 FEPOW memorial loco SINGAPORE was on week long display in St.James’s Park as part of The Living Museum.