A Fan Kept By C/Sgt Arthur Challess


A fan kept by C/Sgt Arthur Challess

A fan kept by C/Sgt Arthur Challess of the 4th Battalion while a Far East Prisoner of War between 1942 and 1945. The fan was inscribed with notes on significant events during his captivity.


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Arthur Challess joined the Suffolk Regiment in 1924 and saw service with the 1st and 2nd Battalions in Malta, Gibraltar and India. He became an instructor at Sandhurst in 1939 returning to the Depot in 1941. He went to the Far East with the 4th Battalion in 1941, was wounded and captured at Singapore in February 1942 and spent the rest of the war as a Japanese Prisoner of War. He left the Army in 1949 but took up an appointment as an Instructor with the Army Cadet Force.


While he was a Prisoner of War Challess kept a record of his movements, with comments, on the leaves of a fan.


Left my dear wife and kiddies 26 Oct
Liverpool Oct 29 ‘Andes’ 1941
Halifax Nov 9 ‘Wakefield’ USA ship
Trinidad Nov 15 2 days off shore
Cape Town Dec 9 4 days shore leave
Bombay Dec 29 disembark
Armednuga Camp Jan 1st 1942
Bombay Jan 19 embark for Singapore
Singapore Jan 29 my ship bombed 4 killed
In action Feb 10 hopeless mess
Wounded Feb 13 Friday right leg
Changi POW Camp Mar 22 20 kilo march
Bukit Temar Apl 9 hard work indeed
Dang-Pong Oct 30 4 days ‘Hell Train’
Kam Buri Oct 31 1 day march Thailand
Chung-Kia Nov 1 1day march quarry work
Dan Kow Jan 31 good camp 1943
One-Tye-Kin Mar 15 rest period?
North Womdo Apl 25 1st jungle camp
Tarso Apl 28 start 9 days march
Taka-Noon May 6 203 kilo camp Hisitan
Bren-Kasi Feb 24 1st train trip 1944
Tarke-Noon Feb 28 Japan groups
Chung-Kia Mar 1 base camp
Non-Pre-Dup Mar 10 wait for move to ?
Singapore June 14 wait for move to Japan
Hell ship June 18 Singapore harbour
Sailed July 4 USA Independence Day
Borneo July 10 rough seas great sickness
Manilla July 16 many sick evacuated
Typhoon Aug 13 great danger of sinking
Wrecked Aug 15 Formosa
Rescued Aug 18 Nippon Navy fine work
Re-shipped Aug 19 Kow Linn Formosa
Japan Aug 28 Moji good reception: 21 deaths
Amagasakei Aug 31 very good move arrangements
Takawoka May 21 killing work 1945
Freedom Aug 16 can it be true?  Yes!!!
Red + and visitors Aug 29 first step to my loved ones
Food & cigs Sep 1 USA Navy planes
Food & cigs Sep 1 USA Navy planes 1 crash
Visitors Sep 3 USA pilots Plans for home
Sick leave Sep 4 by USA planes for Tokio
1st walk out Sep 4 first taste of freedom
Draft letter Sep 4 to my dear family at home


(This item is currently in store at the Suffolk Regiment Museum, pending conservation treatment).

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