The Changi Camera by Tim Bowden

I think most Australians have heard of Changi prison, and of the terrible stories of the atrocities committed by the Japanese army on the prisoners of war there during the Second World War. Tim Bowden has taken a familiar topic and given it a unique twist by telling the story from the point of view of one young soldier. Private George Aspinall, an 18 year old from Wagga Wagga, was marched to Changi with the other prisoners after the fall of Singapore in February 1942, and subsequently worked on the Thai-Burma Railway. He was a keen photographer, and managed to capture many rare images of life in the camp during his three and a half years of incarceration. Almost 100 of his photographs are reproduced in this remarkable book, providing a powerful and immediate insight into the dreadful conditions and treatment endured by the inmates. An extraordinary and important record of events, the photographs were later used in evidence during the War Crimes trials. An absolute must in any Australian military history collection. Hardback, $35

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