Thursday, 16 February 2017
Statements by Members
Fall of Singapore: 75th Anniversary
Of the 65 nurses who boarded the SS Vyner Brooke as Singapore fell, this week in February 1942, only 24 returned to Australia. This was the single biggest loss of Australian nurses during the two world wars. Today I want to remember our nurses who never came home, whose lives and personalities are recorded in Ian Shaw's book On Radji Beach. These are the names of the 12 nurses lost at sea after the Vyner Brooke sank: Louvima Bates, Ellenor Calnan, Mary Clarke, Hulda Dorsch, Caroline Ennis, Kathleen Kinsella, Gladys McDonald, Olive Paschke, Lavinia Russel, Marjorie Schuman, Mona Wilton and Annie Trenerry. These are the names of the 21 nurses massacred on Radji Beach, Bangka Island, 75 years ago today: Irene Drummond, Elaine Balfour-Ogilvy, Alma Beard, Ada Bridge, Florence Casson, Mary Cuthbertson, Dorothy Elmes, Lorna Fairweather, Peggy Farmaner, Clarice Halligan, Nancy Harris, Minnie Hodgson, Ellen Keats, Janet Kerr, Mary McGlade, Kathleen Neuss, Florence Salmon, Esther Stewart, Mona Tait, Rosetta Wight and Bessie Wilmot. These are the names of the eight nurses who died in the internment camp in 1945: Wilhemina Raymont, Irene Singleton, Pauline Hempsted, Dora Gardam, Gladys Hughes, Winnie Davis, Rubina Freeman and Pearl Mittelheuser.
Lest we forget.