River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
River Valley Road Camp – Singapore
River Valley Road and Havelock Camps were separated by a small river/canal with a bridge built across it. The POWs were allowed to move freely between camps.
River Valley Road Camp was surrounded by barbed wire and posted guards. The huts were about 100 feet long with wooden sleeping platforms able to accommodate up to 150 men. From here men would be despatched with work parties around Singapore with tasks such as clean-up and repair of war-torn areas of the city and badly bombed Chinatown.
During those earlier days River Valley Road boasted a small library with books collected from nearby houses. There was also a Roman Catholic Chapel and a secret radio kept POWs abreast of news from the outside world.
Cpl Stan Currie led a party of twenty-seven men from the 2/4th to River Valley Road Camp on 30th October 1942.
POWs received humane treatment from their Japanese captors and were given a significant amount of privileges not found elsewhere!
POWs who remained at RVR or Havelock Camp were often from Changi Camp and considered fit to work.
During the early days before POWs were selected for work Forces for Railway and Japan, both camps boasted a ‘Masonic Lodge’. River Valley Road and Havelock Road Camps would later become transit camps where men who had returned to Singapore would mark time whilst they waited for available shipping before being forwarded to Japan or Saigon.
At times there were up to 5,000 men housed at River Valley.