Saturday, 16 June 2007

SS Kuala sunk off Pom Pong Island



The Kuala was sunk off Pom Pong Island and Michael Pether sent me a note that he met with an elderly lady, Mrs. Brenda Macduff, (now 95 years old but with a sharp mind and memory) recently whom he has come to know well in his research.

She was a British nurse, married to a British lawyer who was serving in the Federated Malay States Volunteer Forces, working in Ipoh who ended up nursing in Alexandra Hospital as the Allies retreated into Singapore. She and other Alexandra nurses were strictly ordered to evacuate on 13 February 1942 from Singapore and boarded the "SS Kuala" which was bombed and machine gunned (with about 500 people on board) as it tried to camouflage itself a day later off Pom Pong Island in the Rhio Archipelago. Many (possibly 100-150) were killed in this cruel event and then another 200 (mainly women ,children and wounded) of the complement died when they were "rescued " from Pom Pong island a few days later by the "SS Tanjong Pinang" which was sunk by the Japanese on its way to Sumatra.

Brenda was rescued with the remainder (by the famous Capt Bill Reynolds and his converted Japanese fishing boat - the one that was later renamed the "Krait" and which took the Australian Commandoes to Singapore to blow up Japanese shipping) and continued nursing the wounded on the escape trail across Sumatra to Padang so as a result arrived at Padang after the last evacuation ship had left there - she ended up in a Japanese POW camp in Sumatra for the remainder of the War.

16 comments:

Andrew said...

My grandfather, A. J. S. "Jim" Hutton was Chief Architect with the PWD in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion of WWII. He lived with my grandmother and their three daughters, Barbara, the eldest (my mother)Joan and Marigold at No. 160 Mt. Pleasant Road.

My grandfather had seen action in the trenches in France during the First World War as an officer (Captain) of the Royal Engineers. His civilian occupation as an architect led, after the war was over, to his appointment to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to design cemeteries and memorials in France. It was whilst he was living there at Longuenesse, Pas de Calais, that my mother was born.

After a spell with the PWD in Kenya he was posted to Singapore. When the Japanese invasion was imminent his previous military experience led to an Emergency Commission in the army as Lieutenant Colonel. It was his job to organise the civilian evacuation. He sent his family to safety in Australia on one of the early boats to depart Singapore. There my mother joined the WAAAF with who she served as a rdio operator, leaving at the end of the war as a Corporal.

My grandfather stayed tio the bitter end, finally boarding the S.S. Kuala on 14 February 1942. Following the sinking of Kuala and with the permission of the other survivors, he and a couple of companions made for Sumatra. Landing on the East coast, they made their way through the jungle, avoiding the advancing Japanese to the West coast of the island where they acquired a fishing boat from a local kampong, planning to sail to Australia. After 3 days at sea they were fortunate to be picked up by an Australian Navy Destroyer and taken to Ceylon. From there my grandfather was at last able to inform his family that he was still alive and had successfully escaped from Singapore.

His adventures did not end there, nor was he able to travel to Australia to rejoin the family. Instead he was ordered to England where he underwent Special Operations training prior to being parachuted into Malaya behind Japanese lines to join Force 136. He was on hand to re-start the civilian government of Singapore after the Japanese surrender and must have been one of the first members of the Singapore government to report for work after the Japanese surrender.

Major Andrew Duncan, late 2nd KEO Gurkha Rifles, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore, 9 October 2010.

Andrew said...

My grandfather, A. J. S. "Jim" Hutton was Chief Architect with the PWD in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion of WWII. He lived with my grandmother and their three daughters, Barbara, the eldest (my mother)Joan and Marigold at No. 160 Mt. Pleasant Road.

My grandfather had seen action in the trenches in France during the First World War as an officer (Captain) of the Royal Engineers. His civilian occupation as an architect led, after the war was over, to his appointment to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to design cemeteries and memorials in France. It was whilst he was living there at Longuenesse, Pas de Calais, that my mother was born.

After a spell with the PWD in Kenya he was posted to Singapore. When the Japanese invasion was imminent his previous military experience led to an Emergency Commission in the army as Lieutenant Colonel. It was his job to organise the civilian evacuation. He sent his family to safety in Australia on one of the early boats to depart Singapore. There my mother joined the WAAAF with who she served as a rdio operator, leaving at the end of the war as a Corporal.

My grandfather stayed tio the bitter end, finally boarding the S.S. Kuala on 14 February 1942. Following the sinking of Kuala and with the permission of the other survivors, he and a couple of companions made for Sumatra. Landing on the East coast, they made their way through the jungle, avoiding the advancing Japanese to the West coast of the island where they acquired a fishing boat from a local kampong, planning to sail to Australia. After 3 days at sea they were fortunate to be picked up by an Australian Navy Destroyer and taken to Ceylon. From there my grandfather was at last able to inform his family that he was still alive and had successfully escaped from Singapore.

His adventures did not end there, nor was he able to travel to Australia to rejoin the family. Instead he was ordered to England where he underwent Special Operations training prior to being parachuted into Malaya behind Japanese lines to join Force 136. He was on hand to re-start the civilian government of Singapore after the Japanese surrender and must have been one of the first members of the Singapore government to report for work after the Japanese surrender.

Major Andrew Duncan, late 2nd KEO Gurkha Rifles, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore, 9 October 2010.

Andrew said...

My grandfather, A. J. S. "Jim" Hutton was Chief Architect with the PWD in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion of WWII. He lived with my grandmother and their three daughters, Barbara, the eldest (my mother)Joan and Marigold at No. 160 Mt. Pleasant Road.

My grandfather had seen action in the trenches in France during the First World War as an officer (Captain) of the Royal Engineers. His civilian occupation as an architect led, after the war was over, to his appointment to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to design cemeteries and memorials in France. It was whilst he was living there at Longuenesse, Pas de Calais, that my mother was born.

After a spell with the PWD in Kenya he was posted to Singapore. When the Japanese invasion was imminent his previous military experience led to an Emergency Commission in the army as Lieutenant Colonel. It was his job to organise the civilian evacuation. He sent his family to safety in Australia on one of the early boats to depart Singapore. There my mother joined the WAAAF with who she served as a rdio operator, leaving at the end of the war as a Corporal.

My grandfather stayed tio the bitter end, finally boarding the S.S. Kuala on 14 February 1942. Following the sinking of Kuala and with the permission of the other survivors, he and a couple of companions made for Sumatra. Landing on the East coast, they made their way through the jungle, avoiding the advancing Japanese to the West coast of the island where they acquired a fishing boat from a local kampong, planning to sail to Australia. After 3 days at sea they were fortunate to be picked up by an Australian Navy Destroyer and taken to Ceylon. From there my grandfather was at last able to inform his family that he was still alive and had successfully escaped from Singapore.

His adventures did not end there, nor was he able to travel to Australia to rejoin the family. Instead he was ordered to England where he underwent Special Operations training prior to being parachuted into Malaya behind Japanese lines to join Force 136. He was on hand to re-start the civilian government of Singapore after the Japanese surrender and must have been one of the first members of the Singapore government to report for work after the Japanese surrender.

Major Andrew Duncan, late 2nd KEO Gurkha Rifles, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore, 9 October 2010.

Andrew said...

My grandfather, A. J. S. "Jim" Hutton was Chief Architect with the PWD in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion of WWII. He lived with my grandmother and their three daughters, Barbara, the eldest (my mother)Joan and Marigold at No. 160 Mt. Pleasant Road.

My grandfather had seen action in the trenches in France during the First World War as an officer (Captain) of the Royal Engineers. His civilian occupation as an architect led, after the war was over, to his appointment to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to design cemeteries and memorials in France. It was whilst he was living there at Longuenesse, Pas de Calais, that my mother was born.

After a spell with the PWD in Kenya he was posted to Singapore. When the Japanese invasion was imminent his previous military experience led to an Emergency Commission in the army as Lieutenant Colonel. It was his job to organise the civilian evacuation. He sent his family to safety in Australia on one of the early boats to depart Singapore. There my mother joined the WAAAF with who she served as a rdio operator, leaving at the end of the war as a Corporal.

My grandfather stayed tio the bitter end, finally boarding the S.S. Kuala on 14 February 1942. Following the sinking of Kuala and with the permission of the other survivors, he and a couple of companions made for Sumatra. Landing on the East coast, they made their way through the jungle, avoiding the advancing Japanese to the West coast of the island where they acquired a fishing boat from a local kampong, planning to sail to Australia. After 3 days at sea they were fortunate to be picked up by an Australian Navy Destroyer and taken to Ceylon. From there my grandfather was at last able to inform his family that he was still alive and had successfully escaped from Singapore.

His adventures did not end there, nor was he able to travel to Australia to rejoin the family. Instead he was ordered to England where he underwent Special Operations training prior to being parachuted into Malaya behind Japanese lines to join Force 136. He was on hand to re-start the civilian government of Singapore after the Japanese surrender and must have been one of the first members of the Singapore government to report for work after the Japanese surrender.

Major Andrew Duncan, late 2nd KEO Gurkha Rifles, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore, 9 October 2010.

Andrew said...

My grandfather, A. J. S. "Jim" Hutton was Chief Architect with the PWD in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion of WWII. He lived with my grandmother and their three daughters, Barbara, the eldest (my mother)Joan and Marigold at No. 160 Mt. Pleasant Road.

My grandfather had seen action in the trenches in France during the First World War as an officer (Captain) of the Royal Engineers. His civilian occupation as an architect led, after the war was over, to his appointment to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to design cemeteries and memorials in France. It was whilst he was living there at Longuenesse, Pas de Calais, that my mother was born.

After a spell with the PWD in Kenya he was posted to Singapore. When the Japanese invasion was imminent his previous military experience led to an Emergency Commission in the army as Lieutenant Colonel. It was his job to organise the civilian evacuation. He sent his family to safety in Australia on one of the early boats to depart Singapore. There my mother joined the WAAAF with who she served as a rdio operator, leaving at the end of the war as a Corporal.

My grandfather stayed tio the bitter end, finally boarding the S.S. Kuala on 14 February 1942. Following the sinking of Kuala and with the permission of the other survivors, he and a couple of companions made for Sumatra. Landing on the East coast, they made their way through the jungle, avoiding the advancing Japanese to the West coast of the island where they acquired a fishing boat from a local kampong, planning to sail to Australia. After 3 days at sea they were fortunate to be picked up by an Australian Navy Destroyer and taken to Ceylon. From there my grandfather was at last able to inform his family that he was still alive and had successfully escaped from Singapore.

His adventures did not end there, nor was he able to travel to Australia to rejoin the family. Instead he was ordered to England where he underwent Special Operations training prior to being parachuted into Malaya behind Japanese lines to join Force 136. He was on hand to re-start the civilian government of Singapore after the Japanese surrender and must have been one of the first members of the Singapore government to report for work after the Japanese surrender.

Major Andrew Duncan, late 2nd KEO Gurkha Rifles, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore, 9 October 2010.

Andrew said...

My grandfather, A. J. S. "Jim" Hutton was Chief Architect with the PWD in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion of WWII. He lived with my grandmother and their three daughters, Barbara, the eldest (my mother)Joan and Marigold at No. 160 Mt. Pleasant Road.

My grandfather had seen action in the trenches in France during the First World War as an officer (Captain) of the Royal Engineers. His civilian occupation as an architect led, after the war was over, to his appointment to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to design cemeteries and memorials in France. It was whilst he was living there at Longuenesse, Pas de Calais, that my mother was born.

After a spell with the PWD in Kenya he was posted to Singapore. When the Japanese invasion was imminent his previous military experience led to an Emergency Commission in the army as Lieutenant Colonel. It was his job to organise the civilian evacuation. He sent his family to safety in Australia on one of the early boats to depart Singapore. There my mother joined the WAAAF with who she served as a rdio operator, leaving at the end of the war as a Corporal.

My grandfather stayed tio the bitter end, finally boarding the S.S. Kuala on 14 February 1942. Following the sinking of Kuala and with the permission of the other survivors, he and a couple of companions made for Sumatra. Landing on the East coast, they made their way through the jungle, avoiding the advancing Japanese to the West coast of the island where they acquired a fishing boat from a local kampong, planning to sail to Australia. After 3 days at sea they were fortunate to be picked up by an Australian Navy Destroyer and taken to Ceylon. From there my grandfather was at last able to inform his family that he was still alive and had successfully escaped from Singapore.

His adventures did not end there, nor was he able to travel to Australia to rejoin the family. Instead he was ordered to England where he underwent Special Operations training prior to being parachuted into Malaya behind Japanese lines to join Force 136. He was on hand to re-start the civilian government of Singapore after the Japanese surrender and must have been one of the first members of the Singapore government to report for work after the Japanese surrender.

Major Andrew Duncan, late 2nd KEO Gurkha Rifles, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore, 9 October 2010.

Andrew said...

My grandfather, A. J. S. "Jim" Hutton was Chief Architect with the PWD in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion of WWII. He lived with my grandmother and their three daughters, Barbara, the eldest (my mother)Joan and Marigold at No. 160 Mt. Pleasant Road.

My grandfather had seen action in the trenches in France during the First World War as an officer (Captain) of the Royal Engineers. His civilian occupation as an architect led, after the war was over, to his appointment to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to design cemeteries and memorials in France. It was whilst he was living there at Longuenesse, Pas de Calais, that my mother was born.

After a spell with the PWD in Kenya he was posted to Singapore. When the Japanese invasion was imminent his previous military experience led to an Emergency Commission in the army as Lieutenant Colonel. It was his job to organise the civilian evacuation. He sent his family to safety in Australia on one of the early boats to depart Singapore. There my mother joined the WAAAF with who she served as a rdio operator, leaving at the end of the war as a Corporal.

My grandfather stayed tio the bitter end, finally boarding the S.S. Kuala on 14 February 1942. Following the sinking of Kuala and with the permission of the other survivors, he and a couple of companions made for Sumatra. Landing on the East coast, they made their way through the jungle, avoiding the advancing Japanese to the West coast of the island where they acquired a fishing boat from a local kampong, planning to sail to Australia. After 3 days at sea they were fortunate to be picked up by an Australian Navy Destroyer and taken to Ceylon. From there my grandfather was at last able to inform his family that he was still alive and had successfully escaped from Singapore.

His adventures did not end there, nor was he able to travel to Australia to rejoin the family. Instead he was ordered to England where he underwent Special Operations training prior to being parachuted into Malaya behind Japanese lines to join Force 136. He was on hand to re-start the civilian government of Singapore after the Japanese surrender and must have been one of the first members of the Singapore government to report for work after the Japanese surrender.

Major Andrew Duncan, late 2nd KEO Gurkha Rifles, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore, 9 October 2010.

Andrew said...

My grandfather, A. J. S. "Jim" Hutton was Chief Architect with the PWD in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion of WWII. He lived with my grandmother and their three daughters, Barbara, the eldest (my mother)Joan and Marigold at No. 160 Mt. Pleasant Road.

My grandfather had seen action in the trenches in France during the First World War as an officer (Captain) of the Royal Engineers. His civilian occupation as an architect led, after the war was over, to his appointment to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to design cemeteries and memorials in France. It was whilst he was living there at Longuenesse, Pas de Calais, that my mother was born.

After a spell with the PWD in Kenya he was posted to Singapore. When the Japanese invasion was imminent his previous military experience led to an Emergency Commission in the army as Lieutenant Colonel. It was his job to organise the civilian evacuation. He sent his family to safety in Australia on one of the early boats to depart Singapore. There my mother joined the WAAAF with who she served as a rdio operator, leaving at the end of the war as a Corporal.

My grandfather stayed tio the bitter end, finally boarding the S.S. Kuala on 14 February 1942. Following the sinking of Kuala and with the permission of the other survivors, he and a couple of companions made for Sumatra. Landing on the East coast, they made their way through the jungle, avoiding the advancing Japanese to the West coast of the island where they acquired a fishing boat from a local kampong, planning to sail to Australia. After 3 days at sea they were fortunate to be picked up by an Australian Navy Destroyer and taken to Ceylon. From there my grandfather was at last able to inform his family that he was still alive and had successfully escaped from Singapore.

His adventures did not end there, nor was he able to travel to Australia to rejoin the family. Instead he was ordered to England where he underwent Special Operations training prior to being parachuted into Malaya behind Japanese lines to join Force 136. He was on hand to re-start the civilian government of Singapore after the Japanese surrender and must have been one of the first members of the Singapore government to report for work after the Japanese surrender.

Major Andrew Duncan, late 2nd KEO Gurkha Rifles, Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore, 9 October 2010.

Andrew said...

How can I post recent photos of 160 Mt. Pleasant Road, my grandfather's house, on t

Andrew said...

How can I post recent photos of 160 Mt. Pleasant Road, my grandfather's house, on this site?

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Tea said...

My Grandfather, E.M Burke- Gaffney, was a engineer lvivng out in Malaya at the start of the war with his family. He sent his family back to the UK almost immediately the war broke out, much to the constination of his relatives back home, and he stayed as a member of the Malay Voluteer force until the Japanese invasion. he made his way to Singapore by car and on arriving, pushed his car into the harbour as he wasn't going to leave it for the Japanese to use! He boarded the S.S Kuala and endured the subsequent sinking, swimming to relative safely on the island on Pom Pong, to be rescued 3 weeks later and finally making his way to Summatra. Though his name appears on the passenger list, he never spoke of his experiences.