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Norman Cliff's collection - 1945

The bell which called the internees to Rollcall twice a day.
Notice the moongate and the garden beyond including the Administrative building shared by our Japanese captors and by the members of the Commitee, elected by all the "adult" internees.

... click on the picture (above) for the next view ...

associated paintings:

... "our noon bell" ...
Mrs. Wilder must have been sitting on a nice summer day, facing the noon bell with the "Moongate" at her left ... The wall behind is the north wall of Block-47.

(above) - Father Verhoeven's painting of Block-29 qualified as: The Headquarters' Building.
It seems to be a beautiful and quiet place with trees and flowers all over. Difficult to realize that it was a "Concentration Camp" guarded by fully armed Japanese guards with Arisaka rifles with fixed bayonets!

associated texts:

Rollcall, sketched by Gordon Martin.
Attention.... Eyes front .... Number off ....
One of the features of camp life was Rollcall at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., held in six different parts of the camp. This sometimes involved numbering off in Japanese. In the Guard Room the totals of each section were chalked up, totalled and the number of internees working on shift or sick in bed were allowed for. Then the bell which had called everyone to Rollcall rang once again, authorising us to disperse. © Norman Cliff

A year before the end of the war a tragedy happened in the hospital section of Rollcall. Brian Thompson, a Chefoo boy of 15, touched a sagging wire which crossed the field where we had lined up, and was electrocuted. His mother and younger members of his family were present, and the experience was traumatic.



The Japanese authorities require that all internees confined to their quarters for sickness show the official numbered card for the roll call which they are unable to attend. Such cards must be obtained before the second Roll Call unattended. In the event of recovery before the second Roll Call, the individual must procure a certificate for the Roll Call unattended.

1. Medical officers attending sick persons in the Clinic or in their quarters will issue a temporary ticket "MEDICAL EXCUSE FROM ROLL CALL", which must be presented to Miss. Burnett in the Hospital office in order to receive the Official Japanese numbered Exemption Card.

All Official Japanese Exemption Cards must be returned to Miss. Burnett when the period of sickness is over and the individual is able once more to attend roll call.

Great care must be taken to deface, damage or lose the Official Japanese Exemption cards.

2. Official Exemption Cards may be exchanged for temporary "MEDICAL EXCUSE FROM ROLL CALL" slips on weekdays during regular Clinic hours, from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 2.30 to 6 p.m.

On Sundays: 10.30 to 11.30 and 3.30 to 4.30 p.m.

3. Official Exemption cards may be returned at the same time when no longer required.

4. Exemption from Roll Call for reasons of sickness carries the obligation to remain in quarters throughout the period that Roll Call is not attended.

Date: July 1st, 1944. (signed): J.W.R. Grice, Chairman, Medical Committee.

Roll Call Check-list

Norman Cliff's badge ...

... boy scouts in the "Moongate" garden ...

"Boyscouts" were tolerated in this part of the compound ... the "moongate" wall is very visible in the background !
Norman Cliff (squating) is at the left of the photo ...
It was the end of a warm sunny August/September day and the sun was setting in the West. Notice the long shadows of the trees and the silhouette of the photographer who is - I guess - using a "box" camera. Kodak or Rolleiflex ...

these two pictures were taken "after" our liberation by the Americans ...