Why was the fall of Singapore such a shock?

Extracts from a report on the health of prisoners at Changi prisoner of war camp in Singapore July 1942

Catalogue ref: CAB 106/42



Subject: Medical supplies AM/2.

To:- Officer Commanding,
Imperial Japanese Army

Guard over Prisoners of War.

On the 30th June I informed you that the Medical Officer of this camp required medical supplies. On the 3rd July I informed you that these supplies could not be obtained from Changi Hospital but were to be supplied by the Japanese Army Medical Service in accordance with Imperial Japanese Army Order No 259 dated 30th June. This morning we were given by your medical officer one small bottle of iodine, one tin of aspirin tablets, two small bottles of disinfectant and three packages of bandages. These supplies are totally inadequate for this camp. At the moment the doctor has no medicine with which to treat cases of diarrhoea or dysentery and these medicines are urgently required.