Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Evacuation of Rear Admiral EJ Spooner & Captain GFA Mulock



Photo of Rear Admiral Spooner and his wife Megan at Admiral House in Singapore

Mr RBD Hughes provides this fascinating insight regarding his Uncle and the evacuation:-

I have been provided with your e-mail address by very helpful members of the FEPOW community in Britain. I have also viewed your blog relating to the evacuation from Singapore. My uncle Captain George F A Mulock, DSO, RN, FRGS (1882-1963) served as Extended Defences Officer at Singapore until the colony's fall in February 1942. He personally arranged the 'evacuation?!' of Rear-Admiral Jackie Spooner aboard a motor launch, and when the Admiral left Singapore, my uncle was in effect SNO, he being the most senior naval officer to be captured at Singapore. I write to you as I know that it is an area of some interest to you.

I believe, from the limited papers relating to my uncle's time at Singapore, that he assumed some control over the evacuation of civilians from the colony, as the government there had more or less let people pursue their own passage. I know that he arranged the evacuation of women, children and a selection of naval officers aboard the Blue Star cargo ship SS Empire Star. Nevertheless, it was the sight of women and children left to fend for themselves in Singapore that haunted my uncle for the rest of his life. He believed, perhaps unfairly given the apathy displayed by the Straits Settlement Government, that he did not do enough.

I would very much like to contribute a small piece for your blog, relating to my uncle, who was the nephew of British Poet Laureate Sir Alfred Austin, and served under Captain R F Scott during the 1901-1904 British National Antarctic Expedition and at Gallipoli in 1915-1916, winning the DSO for saving lives from HMS Ocean and the evacuation form Suvla Bay and the Cape Helles.

I hope that some more information can be gleaned from interested parties, as I know nothing about his time as Extended Defences Officer, except for his brief memoirs, in which he devotes little time to Singapore. I am hoping to re-write and publish his memoirs under the title White Ribbon, White Flag.

With thanks
Mr R B D Hughes
Nephew of Captain George Mulock DSO, RN, FRGS
Head of Extended Defences/Extended Defences Officer for Singapore August 1939-February 1942

If anyone can help with any further information relating to Captain GFA Mulock I would be happy pass the information on.

Christopher Thorne has kindly shared the information below relating to the passenger list of ALL those on the Fairmile M/L 310

KEY: A = Reached Java / B = Died Tjebia / C = PoW / D= Survived / E = Missing / F = Dcd Singapore.

Lt J Bull RNZVR CO A, Rear Admiral EJ Spooner RAMY B, LLt Henderson XO 310 B, Air Vice Marshal CW Pulford ACC Far East B, Mne Day C, Act Lt Brough Coxwain 310 A, Cdr. PL Frampton RN B, StSgt Lockett RE EAB Hill A, Wing Cdr. PA Atkins RAFVR C, StSgt Ginn RE EA B, Oldenall C Lt RAW Pool RN C, StSgt Davis RE BA B, Johnstone C Lt IW Stonor Argyll/Sutherland Highlanders C, Sgt Wright RMP C, AB Flower B, Mr. Richardson, Warrant Bosun RN C, L/C Shrimpton RMP F, AB Hayward B, P/O Keeling B, L/C Turner RMP C, AB Russell B, P/O Firbank C, L/C Schief RMP C, Teleg'st Tweedale C, P/O Sto. Bale B, L/C Stride RMP C, P/O Motor Mech Johncock C, Telg'fst Smithwick RN C A, A/C Smith RAF C, Sto Tucker C , Sgt. Hornby RM B, A/C Bettany RAF C, Sto Paddon C , Mne Sully B, Sto Townsend B, Mne Robinson C , Sto Scammell RN B, Sto Little B, Mne Smith C, Pte Docherty Gdn Hi'l'ers B, Cook "Charlie" Chinese D, Mne Sneddon C , Mr Dimmert RN D'yd S'pre B.

This makes a total of 47 bodies on a boat built for a crew of 6/7

8 comments:

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Anonymous said...

I am pleased I found this site. I am 2nd Cousin 2 x removed from the Admiral. SPOONERS entered my family then J Swinton SPOONER'S daughter Charlotte Louise SPOONER married Edward JOHNSON. He was a railway civil engineer when the British were constructing the Indian Railway System.

Anonymous said...

I have been doing research about the ML310 and evacuation of this group from Singapore for the past year or so. Actually my half brother, AB Alf Robinson was also part of the crew. It is listed on his death certificate, he is buried in Kranji war cemetery in Singapore in the grave next to Rear Admiral Spooner. I was informed by the CWGC that he was reburied there having died of malaria along with other members of the crew who were stranded on the island of Tjebia in the South China Sea. The sailors, soldiers and airmen who died there (mostly form malaria) were reburied by the CWGC after the war. A good source of information is the book 'Course for Disaster: From Scapa Flow to the River Kwai' by a survivor who escaped the island but was later captured and spent the remainder of the war in Changi camp - Richard Pool. I think most of the lists of crew of the Fairmile launch are based on one person's account from memory at the end of WW2. If anyone knows of a way to st the record straight as regards my relative as well, please do post here. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I have been doing research about the ML310 and evacuation of this group from Singapore for the past year or so. Actually my half brother, AB Alf Robinson was also part of the crew. It is listed on his death certificate, he is buried in Kranji war cemetery in Singapore in the grave next to Rear Admiral Spooner. I was informed by the CWGC that he was reburied there having died of malaria along with other members of the crew who were stranded on the island of Tjebia in the South China Sea. The sailors, soldiers and airmen who died there (mostly form malaria) were reburied by the CWGC after the war. A good source of information is the book 'Course for Disaster: From Scapa Flow to the River Kwai' by a survivor who escaped the island but was later captured and spent the remainder of the war in Changi camp - Richard Pool. I think most of the lists of crew of the Fairmile launch are based on one person's account from memory at the end of WW2. If anyone knows of a way to st the record straight as regards my relative as well, please do post here. Thank you.