Friday, 31 August 2012

Talk on WW2 Singapore maps

Interesting talk scheduled for next week week on Singapore WW2 maps. I have been trying to purchase one for years but always very difficult to get a  hold of. Looking forward to it at the  Singapore National Museum

History of the 2nd Argylls

Saw this 2nd hand book online which was published in 1947 being the history of the 2nd Battalion of the the Argyll And Sutherland Highlanders during their campaign in Malaya against the Japanese in 1941 and 1942. Has anyone read it and would recommend it?
The History of the 2nd Argylls Malayan Campaign 1941 - 1942

New trail traces POW Experience

Great to see that a new 4.3 km trail has been established around the Changi area. Lots of history to see on the walk

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Question on ship SS Plancius

What is your name?
Alan Peddell
How did you find this website?
Internet search
Where are you from?
I was born in Singapore - I now live in Vietnam.
Please enter your comments?
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.

SS Grasshopper & the book the Judy Story

Andrew Miller writes from Northern Island
How did you find this website?
Internet search
Where are you from?
Northern Ireland
Please enter your comments?
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.

Comments questions and feedback on Singapore 1942

Hi Alan, My grandmother, Mrs Annie Clark, was also on the "Plancius' from Batavia to Colombo - you probably slept on a straw mattress down in the holds like many people on that voyage . One of the little ships which left Singapore and managed to reach batavia during that last week before the Surrender was the "HMS Scott Harley' the story of which is on the COFEPOW website under Annie Clark's name as well as the ships name. I would be interested in the names of all your family since I am compiling a pssenger list for the ship. on Royal Navy Floating dock Singapore

Hi - I've just found your site while trying to find out why Holy Trinity Church Seaton Carew, in Hartlepool in the north east of England, has a bookcase containing our memorial book, with the following inscription: To the glory of God a thank offering for a great deliverance s.s. “Empire Star” 12th February 1942. I am organising a church history exhibition as part of our 180th birthday celebrations and a fundraising appeal to restore our stonework. I'd be grateful for any further information that might indicate any links - are there any lists of survivors which might lead me to a link with a Seaton family? regards Julie Cordiner on Black Friday - 13th of February 1942

Hi, Does anyone have information on a family called Yeomans who left Singapore in 1941 or 1942. The mother Minnie probably got off the ship in Colombo while the children Irene, Enid, Phyllis and May continued onto Durban. The father Samuel Cecil Yeomans was imprisoned in Changi then Sime Road. He then took a ship to Durban. Thank you. onCivilian Evacuation list

I am searching for information on my mother's family. I am looking for anyone who could help me find any information on my great grandmother Minnie Yeomans and her children Irene, May, Phyllis and Enid who were put on a ship by my great grandfather Samuel Cecil Yeomans in 1941. The ship went to Ceylon first where I believe Minnie disembarked as she is listed as being in an evacuee camp in Colombo while the rest of the family went onto Durban. I know that my mother, her sisters, her mother and step father left Singapore on the Nestor. Samuel Cecil Yeomans was imprisoned in Changi then in Sime Road. After the war he moved to Durban but I have no information on which ship he took. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can learn more? Many thanks, Nikki on Maurice O'Connell from Ireland writes

Fascinating to hear about Jim Hutton, and of particular interest to me as I grew up at 160 Mount Pleasant Road during the 1960s and 1970s. The contrast between Jim Hutton's tranquil existence at Mount Pleasant Road and his subsequent experiences during the war could not have been greater. No 160 was damaged during the war and was subsequently divided into two residences. However, it's now one house again and looking very grand. I know that Australian POWs were living on Mount Pleasant Road for a time repairing the damage to various houses there (as well as finding the time to set up a secret radio in one of the buildings). Anyway,loved the blogspot - many thanks for setting this up. on Jim Hutton PWD on the Kuala

Hello, I have been investigating my girlfriend's family history for her, and they were involved in the evacuation. Adolphe Flinter (a diamond merchant in Singapore) left with his daughter Margaret on the 2nd of February 1942. I have no ship name. His wife Elizabeth left with their younger daughter Eva earlier, arriving in Fremantle, Australia on the 26th of January (again no ship name as I have no access to the detailed records) They also had two sons, Jack and Edward, who we think had been sent to boarding school in the UK some time before. Adolphe also had a brother, Moritz, who with his wife Lucy were aboard the 'Kuala' when it was sunk. Lucy was one of those who was killed in the first wave of bombing, but Moritz managed to escape to Pom Pong Island. He eventually made it to the UK on the ship 'Orantes', returning to Singapore in 1946 to resume his diamond business. on Civilian Evacuation list

Comments questions and postings on Singapore1942

My name is Wee Choong Seng. I am one of the passeger onboard the USS West Point 2gether with my father Wee Yong Thye and my mother Lim Swan Eng. My father worked in the Naval Base in the Battery Shed for charging submarine batteries. When the base got bombed, we were evacuated in Feb 1942. Is there a pax list to show our names during the evacuation? I was just more than a year old back then. Thanks on Civilian Evacuation list

Any hope that you may have a photo of the SS Tanjong Penang, who my Gramdmother was on as a Nurse -it was torpedoed I understand and all hands lost. Including Margeurite Collett. on Research regarding the Singapore evacuation ships of 1

Hello. Does anyone know where I can find the passenger list for the USS WESTPOINT leaving Singapore in January 1942. Many thanks. Nic on Civilian Evacuation list

Could you please put me in contact wiht Michael Pether with regard to civilan evacuation lists. My relatives are Mrs Edna Jackman and Charles Jackman age 5. I am led to believe they were on last boat from Singapore Feb 1942. Also my great uncle Major Charles Jackman was captured in Singapore and was prisoner of war in Burma on the Rail Road and survived. on Civilian Evacuation list

I'm curious if you know anything of the British family by the name of King from Taiping? I heard they were evacuated prior to the war and then returned after the war. Any information about this family would be much appreciated. on The Malayan Volunteers Group

My great grandfather, Lt Albert Charles Carston, was the commanding officer of the MATA HARI and surrendered the vessel to the Japanese in 1942 just as your post states. From our records and other records we have found on the internet, he was sent first to Muntok, Banka Island to repair an airfield. In his post war report, he stated that he was returned to the Mata Hari on 20 Sept 42 to 23 Sept 42 for passage to Japan before being transferred to a Japanese vessel on 24 Sept. He stated that the First Lieutenant, the engineer corps and a few others had been forced to remain on board after the ships capture. The ship participated in the capture of Rengat and had carreid troops to Borneo. Once in Japan, Captain Carston was interred in a series of POW camps until he was liberated from the Hiroshima camp in September 1945. It seems that the fate of the Mata Hari after September 1942 is unclear. Great post! on What finally happened to the "Mata Hari"?

The passenger list for the Narkunda can be found online in the Australian archives on Civilian Evacuation lis

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Recent comments questions & postings on Singapore 1942

Am posting in the event anyone can help or I can help facilitate direct connections.....

I am trying to locate evacuation lists. I do not know name of boat the families I know left in 1942 were the Jones and scott families. Does anyone know of a list that includes these names? The ship they were on was headed for India or Ceylon. on Civilian Evacuation list

Sarah Dyne is your father still alive, as my mother was also on the Mata Hari and was interned in Palembang/Muntok and Lubecklingue (spelling). She's presently trying to find other survivors of the Mata Hari and the camps mentioned above, please feel free to contact me at regards Vincent on What finally happened to the "Mata Hari"?

Dear Sir, I wonder if you would be able to help me, my mother was a Civilian Internee of the Japanese in various camps in Sumatra, one such camp was Bangka, as my mother approaches her twilight years she has shown an interest in trying to contact fellow internees of the camps she was held in and as such I am trying to find out sources who may be able to help me assist her in this, With this in mind I would be grateful if you know of any way I might be able to contact or put my mother in contact with her long lost childhood friends she made in the camps. My mother will shortly be providing me with a list of the camps she was interned in, which i am more than happy to provide you with if this will help in anyway. The brief details I have at the moment are : My mother name at the time of internment : Jane Reid She was interned with her mother, grandmother and 3 siblings, Dirk, Roy and Erica Reid, sadly her grandmother died in the camps, they were originally captured after the ship on Civilian Evacuation list

Hi! My grandmother and dad (Mrs. Maurice (Viola) Bellemans and Paul Bellemans, age 5) left Singapore in 1942, arriving in San Francisco around April 1942. My grandfather was a Naval officer. The Oakland Tribune (April 22, 1942) says they came by way of Singapore, Java, Australia and New Zealand. I don't have the ship name but remember a picture from the deck where the life ring said Kobehaven... which I always thought meant it was a Dutch boat. I didn't see anything in your list on that. Anything you can share would be appreciated. on Civilian Evacuation list

I also have to thank Captain Carston for saving the lives of my Grandmother and father (who was 9 years old at the time) by his actions. We still have a letter that he sent to my grandmother in 1945. He clearly had a terrible decision to make re surrender and the letter shows he was a very great man. He wrote to all the survivors of the ship after the war - what a lovely repsonsible man he must have been - I would be happy to share the letter if anyone would like to see it. My father and his mother were interned on Bangka Island during the war and my Grandfather in Changi. They were very lucky that the Mata Hari was not bombed- my father remembers being ordered below decks on the Mata Hari. He said it was stiflinghot and terrifying as they could here gun fire all around from beneath the decks. On the way down below he saw a motor boat (there were several smaller boats accompanying the Mata Hari) bombed and completely destroyed by a Japanee airplane. on What finally happened to the "Mata Hari"?

Battle for Singapore images

A fascinating rarely published photo of Japanese troops wading ashore Sarimbun beach landing landing in Singapore. Published on the cover of the Singapore WW2 heritage trail guide published this year in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of the fall of Singapore.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Communication and contact on this website

Firstly thank you to everyone who has contacted me regarding this website and supported or contributed to the consolidation of information regarding the battle for Singapore and the subsequent surrender and evacuation stories. I need to apologise that I have not had the bandwidth to formally respond to everyone with all the contact I have received. Additionally I discovered today a whole list of correspondence that has been embedded in this site that I did not know existed until today and I will need time to work through this list and respond accordingly. For general information related questions I will post the questions on the site itself so that other interested readers maybe able to help as well. Anyway for those of you have been awaiting a response to correspondence I just wanted to extend apologies for the tardiness of response. Thank You - David Hope

Video footage of the first bombing of Singapore in 1941

Old newsreel reporting on the bombing of Singapore

Falling in love in a bomb shelter

One of the nicer stories from that time in this morning's Straits Times newspaper about a 96 and 91 year old couple who met during the bombing of Singapore.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Generals At War series - Battle for Singapore

Interesting documentary produced by National Geographic on the battle of Malaya & Singapore