Sunday, 13 November 2011

Story on fall of Singapore survivor Alistar Urquhart

SECOND World War hero Alistair Urquhart from Broughty Ferry has become a television star - at the age of 92.

Mr Urquhart, a former Japanese prisoner of war, became a surprise publishing sensation with his book ‘The Forgotten Highlander’, a number one bestseller and international hit in 2009. It is his account of torture, death and slavery on the Bridge of the River Kwai.

Mr Urquhart celebrated his 92nd birthday on Tuesday by watching a film of this extraordinary story of survival entitled ‘World War Two’s Luckiest Man’ which was screened on Channel 5. He revisited locations from his childhood in Aberdeen for the film, which was an episode of the ‘Revealed’ series.

He enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders in Aberdeen and was sent with his battalion to Singapore where he was captured by the Japanese when they over-ran the colony in 1942. He then spent 750 days in slavery working on the Death Railway in Thailand where 120,000 people died. Mr Urquhart was finally moved from the prisoner of war camp but while being ferried by a Japanese ‘hell ship’ to mainland Japan, a US submarine torpedoed the vessel.

At this point weighing less than six stones, he swam for hours through an ocean ablaze with burning oil until he found a raft, then he drifted on the shark-infested China Sea for five days.

Though he has no recollection of being rescued, somehow he found himself alive on another hell ship, this time bound for Nagasaki, where again he was imprisoned until the US dropped the second atomic bomb on Japan, ending the war for good at the cost of 80,000 lives.

Mr Urquhart said it is not everyone who gets to make a film in their nineties, but he did find it very tiring. One of the reasons for taking part, he stated was so more young people would learn how much the British prisoners of war suffered at the hands of the Japanese army. For many years Alistair kept his astonishing tale to himself only to publish his memoirs in his 90th year. He feels that the response to his book was amazing.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

The amazing story of fall of Singapore survivor Fergus Ankorn

Fascinating video of Fall of Singapore POW survivor Fergus Anckorn. Amazing story - amazing man! Well worth watching.

Tributes paid to fall of Singapore POW Geoffrey Clarke RIP

Framlingham: Tributes paid to fall of Singapore survivor and later leading businessman

'via Blog this'

Singapore 1942 Pilot Art Donahue

Article on WWII Pilot Art Donahue who was injured by anti aircraft fire during the battle for Singapore and turns out he was from Minnesota

Former POW pays his respects - Taipei Times

Former POW pays his respects - Taipei Times:

'via Blog this'

Evacuation of nurses from the Singapore Alexandra hospital 12th February 1942

The last minute evacuations before Singapore fell was was a disasterous and uncoordinated mess that resulted in the loss of many lives. I came across this account on the web by Sister Catherine P. Maudsley which makes for interesting reading:


Account by Sister Catherine P. Maudsley, Territorial Army Nursing Service. Catherine Phoebe Maudsley initially trained in Fever Nursing at Grove Hospital, London, between 1931 and 1933, and later completed her general nurse training at Smithdown Road Hospital, Liverpool, from 1935 to 1937. Her home was in Wallasey, Cheshire.

Sisters’ Mess, B.M.H. Bangalore, South India

Madam - May I have the honour to recount some of the experiences of Q.A.’s in Malaya, especially those who arrived Singapore November 28th, 1941.

We arrived at Keppel Harbour, Singapore, and were welcomed by a Military Band playing on the dockside, after a few hours we disembarked, seven of us being billeted at the Adelphi Hotel, the rest going to the Alexandra Hospital for accommodation; one week later, four of us from the hotel were posted up country to Tanjong Malim; of the remaining three, two were posted to Taiping, much nearer the border than Tanjong Malim; within ten days of their arrival in Taiping, the hospital evacuated and they found themselves five miles south of Kuala Lumpur.

The 17th Combined General Hospital at Tanjong Malim, consisted of a British and an Indian section, the I.M.N.S. staffed the latter section. We arrived two days before the Malayan war started, and were there for three weeks on temporary duty. Almost immediately, the convoys of wounded began to arrive, when the 20th C.G.H. at Taiping evacuated, we were the nearest General Hospital to the fighting area, doing from 14-16 hours per day, and on call at night for any convoy that might arrive. By December 23rd, all the patients had been evacuated, the hospital completely packed, and ready to be entrained. The four of us who had been there on temporary duty were permanently posted to No.1 Malayan General Hospital, Johore Babru, leaving Tanjong Malim December 24th arriving Johore December 25th. While waiting for our connection at Kuala Lumpur, we found that K.L. was being evacuated of all British and Oriental women and children. We finished the journey on one of the evacuee trains to Singapore, getting off at Johore Babru.

No.1 M.G.H. was staffed by our colleagues and M.O’s with whom we had left England; the hospital occupied the top floors of the new Government Hospital situated on the “Straits of Johore”. The view from the hospital was very similar to that from Netley; we had 500 beds, 180 surgical, 180 medical, the rest being officers, skins, etc.; also an annexe two miles away containing 200 beds, it was used for minor ailments, convalescent cases, staffed by orderlies only. The surgical cases were constantly being transferred in order to make room for casualties which were continually arriving. Our quarters were on the top floor of the “Chinese and Malayan Nurses Hostel”, like the hospital it was very new and modern.

During our spell in Johore Babru, the 20th C.G.H. for the second time evacuated, crossed over to the Island, opening up again at the Gillman Barracks, about half a mile from the Alexandra Hospital; leaving No.1 M.G.H. the only General Hospital on the Peninsula. We received most of the casualties, but not always the worst cases, also patients evacuated by descending C.C.S’s and patients from the Naval Base, which was bombed daily, although on the opposite side of the straits, we were their nearest hospital. Five weeks later, January 25th, we received sudden orders to evacuate, and re-open at the Gordon Barracks, Changi, Singapore Island. All patients were transferred to other hospitals on the Island, all hospital and mess equipment was packed, and by that evening, patients, staff, and most of the equipment had gone; six of us who had been left behind as a rear party, and to follow that night, were compelled to stay behind owing to lack of transport. We crossed over the following day; by this time the front line was very near to Johore Babru, and not many miles away. The Gordon Barracks, Changi, were modern, built 1937, made an excellent hospital. (Changi, sixteen miles from Singapore on the East Coast). We existed at Changi for 16 days, January 26th to February 10th.

At Changi, the Surgical Specialist, devised a new method of dealing with casualties; all casualties were classified in the Reception Room:-
A. Resuscitation ward cases, later for theatre, and then transferred to the casualty clearing ward for 24-48 hours, all colours and sexes admitted.
B. Admitted into the Casualty ward, for theatre, and returned to the C.C. ward for 24-48 hours. All colours and sexes admitted.
C. Acute surgical, admitted only from the C.C. ward, or cases from the Reception Room which did not require either (a) Resuscitation or (b) operative treatment.
The staff of this ward were then free from interruption.

All cases were transferred from the Casualty Clearing ward by 11 a.m. the following morning, leaving only isolated cases that were too ill to move, they then stayed a further 24 hours, and were then transferred to the Acute Surgical wards. From 11 a.m. on, the bomb casualties and gun-shot wound cases poured in; the C.C. ward had 60 beds, 50 in a large ward in rows of 25, 10 in a side ward for the more severe cases, troops of all ranks and colours were admitted, also any females, usually Malayan or Chinese, segregation of the sexes and ranks was impossible; at the end of 24 or 48 hours they were transferred to their respective wards or hospitals. The 17th C.G.H. at the R.E. Barracks, Changi, and ourselves, were two miles apart; in less than a week of reopening, we were again doing 16-18 hours per day, the orderlies sometimes doing longer than that, both hospitals were between the two front lines, the Japanese on the Island of Ubin about ¾ to 1 mile away, and our own 16 inch guns behind us; with the repeated and almost continuous air raids, the number of casualties increased, and our beds rose from 500 to almost 1,000 in one week.

On February 7th, the 17th C.G.H. were bombed and blasted out of their hospital. The next day we received most of their patients, and some of their staff for temporary quarters; also on the 8th, the M.O’s quarters of No.1 M.G.H. were hit, rendering some of the M.O’s homeless. They had to sleep on any empty beds we had in the wards. On the 9th we moved from our quarters (The Gordon Officers’ Mess) over to the hospital for safety. The mess was within mortar range of the Japanese, also, the Japs were aiming at hour heavy batteries behind the mess, as already mentioned. At 4 p.m. on the 9th, just as most of us had finished moving our luggage from the mess, the hospital and mess were heavily bombed, and the mess was damaged. Over in the hospital, the barrack square had craters in the four corners and centre, the administrative block smashed, the rear of the medical ward shattered, only one casualty, a V.A.D. who was out in the grounds at the time. The casualties rolled in that night from the surrounding camps, the day staff on the surgical section came off duty between 11.30 p.m. and 12 midnight, only to be called again at 1 a.m. to pack up the ward equipment, and reclassify patients, prior to our evacuation in the morning. The barracks were so designed that a blackout was impossible, the night staff having to work in complete darkness; during our 16 days at Changi, storm lanterns and torches were not allowed – had it not been for the reflection of the moon, I do not know how any of us could have managed after 7 p.m.

The patients were transferred to various hospitals in and around Singapore, and by 4 p.m. February 10th, the hospital had been completely evacuated, all the hospital and mess equipment being sent to the Cricket Club for us to reopen there (as we then thought). All our own luggage was taken to the Alexandra Hospital as we were going there for temporary accommodation only. As we had been without newspapers and the wireless set out of order for 12 days, we had no idea of what was really happening on the Island. On our arrival at the Alexandra Mess, we were amazed to find most of the Malayan Q.A.’s and I.M.N.S. there, in their units, and, like us, without hospitals. That evening, Miss West, our Matron, asked us if we were willing to go to Java and open up there. All of us agreed to go, but later that same evening, the Principal Matron called a meeting of everyone, told us the situation, and that we would be evacuated as soon as possible. A list of names would appear the next day of those who would go, the rest to follow later, so next day, February 11th, about 30 or so of us left, and sailed on February 12th, the rest sailed February, Friday 13th.

On the night of the 10th, the Alexandra Mess was very near to the front line, firing all night in the surrounding rubber, more of our heavy batteries once again behind the mess, firing intermittently all night. Next day, the 11th, continuous air-raids, dive-bombing, and machine-gunning, and hundreds of troops retreating, and lining the ditches. On our way to the docks, eight miles from the mess, we were constantly in and out of the “Singapore Ditches”, there appeared to be fires everywhere, the sky was almost completely hidden in smoke.

The ship which we boarded had many hundreds on board, including Air force, Australians, some civilians, even babies 12 days old. We were allotted one of the holds, and shared it with Australian sisters. We slept on bare boards, using gas capes, tin hats, or gas-masks as pillows. We only possessed what we stood up in and could carry. The Australian sisters, who had been on board for a day or so before we arrived, had all their kit, and food enough for a week. Our men shared their rations with us. The ship sailed at dawn February 12th, a couple of hours later from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. we were continuously dive-bombed by 100 planes, what lifeboats we had were smashed, and not one lifebelt between us. The ship’s gunners brought down one or two planes. A few of us from No.1 M.G.H. who happened to be up in the limited passenger accommodation at that time, started a C.C.S. in one of the cabins. Most of us had a fairly good supply of morphia in our pockets; it was most useful. Many men were blown overboard, plus 12 killed and 26 injured. The Australian sisters opened a small hospital, but after our C.C.S. had started. The ship itself received four direct hits and had a fire in the stern, but it still sailed on. Had it not been for the Captain and staff of that merchant ship, we should never have reached Batavia.

We anchored off Batavia the evening of Friday 13th, and disembarked on the 14th; as we were not expected, we sat on the dockside for four hours, while the military authorities found billets for us. Eventually we were taken to the Princess Juliana Convent where the nuns were most kind to us. Next day, the 15th, thirteen of us were put on board an evacuee ship bound for Ceylon. Conditions of board this evacuee ship, which could not be helped, resembled those of an emigrant ship of the last century. On boarding the ship, we were handed a plate, bowl and cutlery. Three times a day we lined up for food, having one meal per day which consisted of some kind of meat and potatoes. For breakfast and tea-time supper, we had one slice of bread and some sort of fluid. We were allotted to one of the holds, but after three days at sea, the Purser put some of the civilians out of their cabins and gave them to us.

After seven days at sea, the ship arrived in Colombo Harbour, February 22nd. The A.D.M.S., Ceylon, had been informed of our arrival, he came aboard, and within a very short time we were ashore, temporary billets being found for us at the C.G.H., Colombo. After a few days there, the twelve of us (the 13th being A.I.N.S.R., was sent to India) were sent to Kandy for seven days’ rest; eight of us returned to Colombo, March 5th, for temporary duty with the C.G.H. On our return, we met the survivors of our less fortunate colleagues who left Singapore February 13th. They had had varied experiences, some of them having been in hiding in native huts, also in native sampans on Sumatra Island. March 11th, six left the C.G.H. for India, the other followed at later dates.

I trust this letter is not too long, having only mentioned the main occurrences, and those fit for censorship.

I have the honour to be, Madam, Your obedient Servant, Catherine P. Maudsley, Sister, T.A.N.S.

Old window salvaged from one of the Pompong island ships

A couple of years ago I met a captain who was once in the salvage business. He told a story of how some 20 years ago he dived on an old wreck some 2.5 miles off Pompong Island that I am guessing could have been the Kung Wo. He said the ship's decks had all collapsed and it was a very difficult challenging and dangerous dive and there was nothing really to salvage. The only thing that they did bring up were two brass windows and one of them has now been converted into a window on a yacht that was originally based in Singapore. I am not sure if it still is. This a photo of one of those windows.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Article on a mystery of a memorial

IT was a war in which a combination of fast-changing events and censorship combined to endow a strange kind of time-lag on the observer.

It was the end of January 1942 and South Shields seaman Thomas Umpleby, of Palmerston Street in the town, is pictured receiving the Lloyds War Medal for an earlier act of bravery at sea.

Yet even as the paper went to press, as the adjacent headline shows, events were building in the Far East that, unbeknown for some time to readers, were already calling for local seafarers to show similar courage.

Among them were the crew of the Empire Star. She had come out of the yard of Harland and Wolff at Belfast half a dozen or so years earlier; at more than 11,000-tons gross, she was a smart, modern addition to the Blue Star fleet.

By the end of the year, she would be gone, sunk by a German U-boat north of the Azores, while in passage from the UK to South Africa.

Among those who went down with her was her first electrician, 29-year-old South Shields man Ernest Dudgeon.

But it was her exploits inbetween that concern us today for, a few months earlier, the Empire Star and her people had played a distinguished role in one of the most nail-biting episodes of the Second World War – the evacuation of Singapore.

In all, she would help more than 2,000 people to safety as the Japanese advanced on Britain’s major military base in south-east Asia.

The story of the ship’s part in the famous evacuation is told in a booklet which has been compiled by Hartlepool writer June Markwell, with Arthur Glendenning, in the hope that it will bring to the fore someone – anyone – who knows why there is a memorial to the Empire Star’s part in this wartime episode in a church, Holy Trinity, in Seaton Carew.

“No trace can be found of the person or persons who gave it,” they say.

Might the family of Sidney Milne know, for instance? He was from Jarrow and was the Empire Star’s carpenter. Aged 40 at the time, he’s unlikely to still be alive.

But, says June: “Hopefully he may have survived the war and his family may have some information.”

The ship’s part in the evacuation is certainly a thrilling one.

Her orders, for instance, had been to take off women and children, together with designated air force personnel and military nursing staff.

As well, though, she found herself invaded by army deserters, many of them Australian.

Also, her crew was added-to by several men classed as DBS (Distressed British Seamen) who had survived the sinking, five days after the headlines here, of the Canadian Pacific passenger liner, Empress of Asia, which had been bombed while carrying more than 2,000 troops from Bombay.

* If anyone has any information relating to the Empire Star memorial at Seaton Carew, get in touch and I’ll pass on contact details.

* S.S. Empire Star: The Mystery of a Church War Memorial, is available, price £2.95 plus p&p, from Hartlepool Maritime Experience (tel 01429 860077), or Atkinson Print, Hartlepool (tel 01429 267849

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Battle for Singapore Service Medals

I recently obtained these original service medals that were awarded to Aircraftsman Herbert Lawrence Yardley 243 SQN RAFVR (Royal Air force volunteer Reserve) service number 1180663 after his death related to the fall of Singapore. Records record his date of death as the 15th of February 1942 which was the day that Singapore formally surrendered. However, as was often the case with these records often the date of death was recorded as the last known day of a confirmed sighting of the person. The four medals include the 1939/45 Service Star, Pacific Star, Defense Medal and War Medal. His name is recorded at the Kranji War Memorial in Singapore. If anyone can add any further information about this serviceman regarding his history or background that would be appreciated. I will add more detail to this site as information comes to hand.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Information on the Aquarius?

Lynne April Bott of Willenhall UK left this message in my problematic online guestbook sometime back:-
I am trying to source information on the Aquarius, there is a possibility that my Great Uncle may have been on her when she was sunk.He was reported missing on 15th Feb1942 and reported killed in action 26th Feb1942 in Malaya.We know he got onto the wrong ship and it was sunk. My Gt. Grandmother always said it was one of churchill's mistakes. please help

Royal Navy Floating dock Singapore

Alan Peddell born in Singapore writes:-
Together with my parents and one younger brother aged 2 ( I was nearly 4), we managed to leave Spore on a small ship which took us to Djakarta and then we boarded the ss Plancius which took us to Colombo, where we stayed until the war ended. My father was an electrical engineer working on the Royal Naval Floating Dock. As both my parents are dead now, I would like to have any information regarding the ship that might have taken us to join up with the Plancius. I understand we were delayed from leaving because my father had to assist the demolition of the floating dock, and all other large ships had left Keppel because of the heavy bombing.

HMS Grasshopper

Thank you to Andrew Miller from Northern Island who wrote in the guest book recently:-
Hi David, this is fascinating. My grandfather was on board HMS Grasshopper when it came down from Shanghai to Singapore in '39; he then left Singapore on the 13th Feb '42 with some 150 nurses, royal marines, women & children (in that order of priority, apparently) swelling their complement of 55 to some 200 on board. Let's just say it didn't end well, in fact he was sunk TWICE, the second time while being transferred back to Singapore from Indonesia in 1944. After 4 weeks in the River Valley Camp the 200 survivors were returned to Sumatra to work on the Pekan Baru railway and remained there until liberated by Lady Mountbatten.

I'd like to recommend the book "The Judy Story" by Edwin Varley, 1973, to add a little colour to the life of a matelot on the gunboats at the China & Singapore Stations, life for Europeans at the brink of war in the Far East, the subsequent evacuation up to the 14th Feb, and the imprisonment of military and civilian personnel after the fall of Singapore. As is often the case with FEPOWs, it is where our family had to go to get the detail of what happened to our grandfather as he and the dog were POW's together! It's an incredibly personal story interlaced with 'the bigger picture' at the time and our family hold it in very high regard for obvious reasons.

Many copies come up on eBay and for bargain prices as people clear their parents' houses out.

I work offshore and I am hoping to get detailed onto a project my firm is carrying out in Australia soon. If successful I would very much like to visit Singapore and Indonesia and see the locations that had such a great effect on my grandfather.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

World War II hero Tay Ah Soey dies at age 97

He was amongst a group of 5 who pulled survivors from the water after their ships were bombed escaping Singapore on Friday the 13th "Black Friday" 1942. Rest in peace

Friday, 22 April 2011

Video on the fall of Singapore

Came across this footage today on the fall of Singapore. The commentary is relatively accurate but some of the footage is a little suspect. As one example it shows British troops riding on a tank when there were no tanks to defend Singapore but the majority of the footage is Singapore 1942 related.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Singapore - The Inexcusable Betrayal by George Chippington

I have just finished reading this self published book by George Chippington that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was also fascinated to read that the book tells the story of the last stand before the fall of Singapore where George Chippington and his troops took up positions in the bungalows in the vicinity to the old Singapore Harbor Board house where I currently live in Singapore. This added some interesting history to the area that has been vividly captured in this eye eyewitness account.

Published in 1992 the book is based on Chippington's diary where from Dec 41 he took part in close combat against the invading Japanese forces from the Thai border to the streets of Singapore. As per the title of the book the author continously expresses his anger in frustration throughout the campaign of the poor leadership and the folly of the war they were expected to fight with inferior equipment and without the support of tanks or a functioning air force while the Japanese air force bombed at will and dominated the skies over Malaya. A thoroughly good read.

Monday, 28 February 2011

An old image of fortress Singapore

Not listed as to where the image originated from

Did Singapore have to fall? - Churchill and the impregnable fortress

I have just finished re-reading Hack & Blackburn's book "Did Singapore have to fall?" It is a most fascinating read and some of the photos of the the building of Singapore's early coastal defenses I have not seen else where. As much as I enjoyed the book I did not feel that the ending pulled it all together to conclusively answer the question that the book so succinctly asks in it's title. Never the less I do recommend it. The photo on the cover of the book is the replica 15 inch wartime gun on location in Changi. The barrel is 54 feet long. It is an interesting visit located close to the Changi Museum.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Fall of Singapore service 15th Feb 2011

Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) held the 44th memorial service on the 15 February 2011 in commemoration of civilians victims of Japanese occupation during the World War Two. The annual event aims to remind the country's younger generation never to forget the tragedy in which a large number of civilians were ruthlessly slaughtered during the dark days of the Japanese occupation and to make young Singaporeans clearly aware of the hardness to earn peace and the importance to establish total defense. The memorial ceremony was attended by more than 1,200 people, including Singapore Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen, representatives from government organs, uniformed services, diplomatic corps, business associations, religious organizations, schools as well as veterans and families of the victims. Wreaths were laid on behalf respectively of the SCCCI, the Singapore Army Forces Veterans' League, the ten major religious organizations, National Cadet Corps', and the students representatives in Singapore to console the spirits of the civilian victims of the Japanese occupation and all participants observed one-minute silence and took three bows in front of the memorial monument. Before the beginning of the service, the Singapore Civil Defence Force sounded the "All Clear" signal through its public warning system to commemorate the fall of Singapore to the Japanese during World War Two. The SCCCI has fixed Feb. 15 every year for a memorial service in commemoration of the civilian victims of the Japanese occupation. On Feb. 15, 1942, Japanese captured Singapore and occupied it for three and half years. According to incomplete statistics, at least 50,000 Singaporeans were slaughtered. On Feb. 15, 1967, memorial monument was built and memorial service was held each year ever since. Source: Xinhua

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Final defensive lines before the attack on Singapore 1942

This interesting map shows the defensive lines around Singapore in preparation to defend the island from the attacking Japanese forces in 1942. History tells us that the diversionary attack on the small island of Pulau Ubin on the North East succeeded in bluffing defending forces command that it was the start of the main attack. However, the full force of the main invasion occurred on the North West side of the island. The rest is history

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

69th anniversary of the fall of Singapore 15th Feb 1942

This morning I attended the remembrance services for the thousands of civilians who died as a result of the fall of Singapore 69 years ago today. It was very well attended and it was good to see the number of school children who were in attendance. I have posted a number of photos on my Singapore1942 twitter site which you can access by clicking on

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Video footage showing the intensity of artillery fire on Singapore to support the invasion

Images from the battle for Malaya

Some more amazing images captured by Time Life Magazine taken during the battle for Malaya and printed in an article "Some Mementos from Malaya" in the March 1943 edition. The top two pictures highlight graphically the tragedy of war.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Photos from the 1st bombing raid in Singapore

I came across these fascinating images from the 1st bombing raid over Singapore in December 1941 that was originally published in the pictorial magazine "Life" in the January 1942 edition. The first photo on the right hand corner shows the damage from the bombing that occurred in Raffles Place and one of the images shows the injured being evacuated from a classic Singapore shop house. It is the first time I have seen these particular images.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

In February 1942 the island of Singapore was besieged and it would only be a matter of time before the invading forces stormed across to the Island of Singapore itself having taken up positions along the coastline of mainland Malaya. The headlines of this newspaper from the time announces the arrival of Japanese troops on the west coast of the island the paper dated February 9. 1942.

Friday, 4 February 2011

These headlines are apparently from the English version of the Japan times in 1942. Interestingly it highlights that more vessels have been bombed and mentions "Malay campaign rapidly nearing finale......"

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Fascinating images from

This fascinating image is taken from Peter Stubb's website that I have recently come across which is well worth a look. This photo shows the Serapong 6" Battery No 2 Gun which was hit by a Japanese bomb in 1942. It shows a discarded shell on the ground highlighted by the circle from a photo at that time. Another unexploded shell was discovered during an excavation of the site in 1996 and the photo on the left shows the excavation team with their find!

Map of the Invasion of Singapore

This interesting diagram is taken from the Japanese records of the successful invasion of Singapore Island from Tsuji's book 'Singapore - The Japanese Version' shows the dates and movements of the Japanese troops as they moved across Singapore up until the point of surrender.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Book - While History Passed

I was pleased to find this book in the Barwon Heads Bookshop in Victoria last week. The book written by Jessie Simons was first published in 1954 and tells the story of the Australian nurses evacuated on the Vyner Brooke on the 12th of February 1942 three days before the fall of Singapore. 65 nurses were evacuated on the ship that was bombed and sunk with the nurses who found their way to Rahdji Beach then machine gunned and bayoneted after surrendering to the Japanese troops on Muntock island. The famous Vivian Bullwinkle was one of those nurses who survived the massacre. Jessie Simons was one of the nurses on the ship and this is her story. I look forward to reading the book. It is amazing what one can find in second hand book shops.