The Changi Museum was relocated to its new home on 15 February 2001. It replaces the former Changi Prison Chapel and Museum (built in 1988) that had to make way for the expansion of the Changi Prison.
In honouring the spirit and commitment of those who rose from the depths of adversity, the Museum inspires future generations to come and deepen their appreciation of the heroic and inspirational stories that took place in Changi. The Changi Museum is dedicated to all those who lived and died in Singapore, in particular the Changi area, during the dark years of World War II.
Through documentation of significant events of the Japanese Occupation, the Museum functions as an important educational institution and resource centre. As for the Prisoners-of-War (POWs) and their families, it is a site that allows closure of the many emotional scars of the war years.
The Changi Chapel, housed within the open-air courtyard of the new museum, is a representative replica of the many chapels that were built during World War II. Today, it stands as a monument for those who would not buckle under Japanese rule, and who kept their faith and dignity in the face of seemingly hopeless odds.
Letters, photographs, drawings and personal effects in the museum tell a horrific story of over three years of war and imprisonment for more than 50,000 civilians and soldiers in Changi. From the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942 till the Japanese surrender in September 1945, life was a daily struggle against humiliation, loss of freedom, hunger and disease. Yet it was here, where conditions were at their worst, that we hear of stories that were heroic, touching, and most of all, inspirational. The highlight within is a series of magnificent wall paintings called The Changi Murals, painstakingly recreated from the originals painted by Bombardier Stanley Warren. Visitors are also able to view screenings of videos such as 'Changi Through The Eyes of Haxworth' and 'Elizabeth Choy'. Tucked in a quiet corner of the museum is 'The Changi University', a research area that houses a collection of rare books and literature depicting life during the war years.