Saturday, 1 September 2012

Jane Reid survivor from the "Vyner Brooke" and search for information

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 4 siblings, Dirk, Roy, James and Erica Reid, sadly her grandmother died in the camps, they were originally captured after the ship that they left Singapore on was attacked/disabled, the ship was the “Vyner Brooke”, one of the camps they were in was immortalised in Paradise Road with the story of the vocal choir that was formed there. I also believe the surviving Australian nurses of the famous beach massacre at Banka Island were in one of the camps she was interned in.

Some further information i have is as follows

REID Mrs Marie wife of J.H. ‘Jock’ of PWD. Aged 38 in 1942.Palembang
women’s camp 1942. Sumatra internee with 5 children [Erica, Jane. James, Dirk & Roy],
Vyner Brooke survivors. Repatriated on Antenor from Singapore, arriving Liverpool 27.10.45.
To Paisley. Returned to Penang post war.

I hope this will help in starting to find my mothers dear friends.

Please let me know if you can assist or if you can point me in the right direction.

Yours Sincerly

Vincent Elgey


Vince Elgey said...

Just thought I'd leave a comment about this event we are attending in 2 weeks

Its the 70th Anniversary of the Vocal Choir that was formed by the female civilian prisoners of war in Sumatra and there will be a number of survivors of the camp attending, my mother included.

As for finding other survivors of the camp, as was my first post/request on your site, we've managed to get in contact with a number of other children who were in the camp, who are now of my mothers late years and she's hopefully meeting 2 of them she hasn't seen since they were all liberated from the camp.

We've also found a long lost relative of my mother on the Dutch side of the family, who my mother lost contact with soon after returning to the UK.

Michael Freeman said...

Has a full passenger list ever been composed for the Vyner Brooke?

My grandmother Kathleen E Waddle was on board. She was principal of Raffles Girls Hugh School.

Michael Pether said...

Michael, I am currently compiling a passenger list of the people on the "Vyner Brooke" and it includes your grandmother Kathleen Waddle who was lost at sea.

I would like to personalise the entry on kathleen with more information on her life.

My previous research can be read under the 'Evacuees' section of the' Malayan Volunteers Group' website where it will show lists for other ships.
please email me on


Michael Pether
New Zealand