Sunday, 4 February 2007

William A Choppin interned in Changi Prision


WA Choppin b1898 in Greenwich was living in Harbour Board accommodation in Bukit Chermin Road at the time of the fall of Singapore. His wife Nora Olive evacuated to UK on the second last ship out of Singapore according to relatives and lost a number of close friends on the last ship out that did not make it.

WA Choppin was the son in Law of AL Lawrence (father of Nora) and voluntarily decided to stay in Singapore for the surrender (aged 43 in 1942) despite being given the opportunity to escape on a Harbour Board Steamer with many other harbour Board Staff. He was interned at both Changi and Sime Road jails and after the liberation he continued to live in Singapore up until around 1949 when this photo was taken.

I was kindly provided with the following Singapore directory record:

CHOPPIN W.A. [William Augustus] b.1898 Greenwich. Ironworker,Dockyard Staff, Harbour
Board Singapore. Aged 43 in 1942. Lived at 20 Bukit Chermin Rd, Singapore. Wife Nora Olive evacuated to UK. Changi and Sime Rd internee. Died 1985 Gloucestershire.

Changi Prison records state that his cell number was 3 2 26 (which he shared with A Lawrence) and his camp reference number was 318. I am looking for any information related to WA Choppin's Changi or Sime Road Prison internment or information related to his tenure with the Singapore Harbour Board.

2 comments:

John choppin said...

This is my great grandfather whom my grandad William Choppin (still alive aged 80 and contactable through email) still talks about I would be very interested in more information about him. My email is Johnchoppin@ btinternet.com I have copies of his birt and death certificate as my grandfather has extensively researched our family tree and left me in charge

Anonymous said...

My Father was an MT driver in the RAF at the fall of ingapore. His detachment were about to leave Singapore onboard one of the last ships but his C.O. told him he had to o back into town to the hospital to pick up an army officer and bring him to the ship.
He was told that berthed behind the ship was a motor boat and in the event that the ship had sailed, he, and his passenger were to take the motorboat and sail out to meet the ship offshore.
In the event that the ship had not sailed, he was instructed to put his passenger onboard the ship and then set fire to the motorboat before boarding the ship himself.

My Father drove back in to the hospital, he located the officer he was sent to collect, and also collected a nurse who was attempting to walk from the hospital to the docks.
When they all reached the docks, the ship was still there, his passeners boarded the ship and so too did my Father after setting fire to the motor boat. My Fathers name was John Hopper though unfortunately I have no idea of the people he brought back to the docks.