a view of the River Kwai

The River Kwai

The Changi Cross

The Changi Cross

St George’s Mark IV April - September 1945 Changi, Singapore

St George’s Mark IV April - September 1945 Changi, Singapore

Map by David Cordingly

Map by David Cordingly

The Changi Cross

The Changi Cross is a small brass wartime cross made by prisoners-of-war of the Japanese during WWII when they and 50,000 allied prisoners were held captive in Changi, Singapore.

The POWs took the cross up country with them to Kanchanaburi close to the River Kwai where they were used as slave labour to construct the Thai-Burma Railway. They struggled to keep faith and hope alive under the most appalling conditions. The survivors then brought it back to Changi gaol for their final year of imprisonment.

When the war ended in 1945, the cross was taken home to the UK but it was returned to Changi Museum in 1992.

Looking back to the really grim time in the jungle camp beside the Railway, the truly remarkable thing was the way the human spirit rose to magnificent heights. After months of sheer degradation, gradually the spirit to care for one another revived, incredible kindness and self-sacrifice was in evidence.

Eric Cordingly

A Fascinating Story

The story of the Changi Cross involves three prisoners of war:

An army Chaplain, Eric Cordingly, who designed it, Sergeant Harry Stogden who constructed it out of brass and Sapper Tim Hemmings who engraved it with four regimental badges, and many other POWs who were held in Changi.

Books

Eric’s daughter, Louise Cordingly, has produced two books about his time as a Far East Prisoner of War. The books are available as either paperback or digital Kindle editions. Follow the links below to learn more about the books including extracts, photos, interviews and details on where you can purchase copies.

The Changi Cross book cover

The Changi Cross

A Symbol of Hope in the Shadow of Death

The Changi Cross tells the story of the prisoners, their faith and the cross.

Down to Bedrock book cover

Down to Bedrock

The Diary and Secret Notes of a Far East Prisoner of War Chaplain 1942-45

Down to Bedrock includes Eric’s wartime diary and notes. It also includes original drawings by fellow prisoners.

FEPOW Links

The Changi Cross has a Facebook Page where you can join us in discussing the story of the cross, share your own stories and hear about upcoming events. You can also visit our links page for details of related FEPOW websites.