These poignant cartoons are the lost and found art of a British prisoner of war

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Friday 15 August 2014 18:50

When Des Bettany was held in the notorious Japanese prisoner of war camp Changi, he drew cartoons to boost the morale of his fellow soldiers. Now, more than a decade on from Mr Bettany's death, his family has found nearly 60 paintings from those he served with following an appeal.

Mr Bettany was born in Burnley and was kept in Changi, which is in Singapore, between 1942-1945.


You call this a shower

Building the Thai-Burma railway

'Oh boy' Liberation (August 1945)

After Mr Bettany's release he emigrated to Australia where he started a family and worked as an art teacher. He did not talk about his experiences as a prisoner of war when World War II ended until the last few years of his life, when he wrote a summary of his time in the prison for the Singapore Tourism Promotion Board. He died aged 81 in 2000.

Des Bettany's artwork is reproduced with kind permission of his family. To see more images, refer to