First birthday party invitation for Jennefer Davidson

Production date
Audio tour

See full details


First birthday party invitation at Changi, 1943.

Jennefer Davidson was born after the fall of Singapore in 1942, and the birthday party is to celebrate Jennefer’s first birthday. This invitation is a colourful poster painted by Bill Charton, an artist friend who was a prisoner at Changi.

There is a baby angel at the top, and the phrase “I did it!” reflecting the hard living conditions for a child. The day, time and place are written on the title. Also, it is specified to guests to bring your own plate, spoon, mug and stool, along with the signatures of those who were going to attend the party. In the corners there are drawings representing Rosebud, which was Bill Charton’s nickname; Fishface and Tadpole, the nicknames of the artist’s friends; and Leo the Lion, which represents Jennefer’s astrology sign. The artist personalized the invitation with Jennefer’s own handprint.

I was particularly interested in the life of a civilian prisoner of war. A birthday party invitation is something that you do not expect to find in these circumstances. However, it could give an idea of the social relationships amongst inmates and how life was celebrated even in the prison. Furthermore, my lack of awareness about this side of the history of the Second World War was my key reason for choosing this object.

Audio recording by Alba Cuevas (Volunteer), Edinburgh.
Collection Type
Level of Current Record
Catalogue Number

Explore by colours