Location: Netherlands East Indies
Surnames/tags: World_War_II nurses australia_project
Australian Nurses of the Vyner Brooke
Invading Malaya on 8th December 1941, the Imperial Japanese Army made swift advance south along the peninsula and then across the narrow strait into the supposedly impregnable fortress of Singapore. Although numerically smaller military (35,000 Japanese to 85,000 Allies), the invaders dominated air and sea, allowing them to advance at will. By the time the Allied commandes realised their impossible situation it was almost too late to evacuate non-combatants, let alone soldiers (Singapore fall on 15th February 1942). With news of Japanese inhuman and criminal treatment of women captives being heralded, General Bennett finally relented and ordered the 130 nurses, all women under forty years of age, to be evacuated. The Wah Sui, a hospital ship, was to take six nurses during the night of 10th February to safety, the Empress Star a further 59 on the morning of the 12th and the SS Vyner Brooke the last 65 during the night of the 12th. The nurses themselves did not want to abandon their patients. The Wah Sui and Empress Star both made it through to Batavia (Jakarta), at the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia), and on to Australia. The Vyner Brooke, not so lucky ...
|SS Vyner Brooke|
The SS Vyner Brooke was a Scottish-built steamship that was both the royal yacht of Sarawak and a merchant ship frequently used between Singapore and Kuching. She was designed by naval architect, F G Ritchie OBE, of Ritchie & Bisset, Singapore. Ramage & Ferguson of Leith, Edinburgh's harbour area, built the ship, completing her in February 1928. She was 73.4m (240.7ft) long, with a beam of 12.6m (41.3ft) and draught of 4.95m (16ft 2 3⁄4in). The Vyner Brooke was named after the 3rd Rajah of Sarawak, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke. At the outbreak of war with Japan the ship was requisitioned by the Royal Navy, painted gray, and armed with a 25.4mm (four-inch) deck gun forward, two Lewis guns aft and depth charges. The ship was equipped with wireless and carried lifeboats, rafts and lifebelts for 650 people and could carry at least 200 deck passengers.
The ship's Australian and British officers were mostly Malay Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and had been asked to remain aboard the now HMS Vyner Brooke. The ship's company, under the command of her peacetime captain, Richard E Borton, was augmented by reservists, some survivors of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse and European and Malay professional sailors.
|Sir Charles Vyner Brooke|
The final voyage
Tasked with evacuating nurses, civilians, and wounded servicemen from Singapore, the Vyner Brooke steamed out of Singapore Harbour on 12th February 1942, just three days before the garrison surrendered. Exact numbers of passengers are not known as records were incomplete and no longer exist. It is known that the crew numbered 40, there were 65 Australian nurses, and approximately 145 others, including women and children. Anchoring during daylight in the lee of islands to Singapore's south to avoid discovery, she made slow progress.
On 09:00 hours on 14th February 1942, as she approached the Bangka Strait, the Vyner Brooke was sighted, bombed and strafed by nine Japanese aircraft. A bomb landed to the rear of the bridge, going deep into the ship before exploding. Another went down the funnel and destroyed the engine room. A third bomb exploded in the sea beside the starboard side, causing a great hole in the ship's hull. She rolled onto her starboard side and sank within twenty minutes. She was one of forty ships sunk by Japanese aircraft approaching the Bangka Strait that day alone. A further five ships made it through.
Four of the six life-boats were launched, however, they immediately began filling with water from bullet and shrapnel holes received during the attacks. Ample life-rafts were successfully lowered for survivors. All passengers and crew had life-vests. Most of the survivors reached Bangka Island, north of Sumatra in the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia); some within a few hours and some after three days afloat, such was the current. Sadly, half-a-dozen were carried out to sea.
|Vyner Brooke commemorative coin|
Sixty-five members of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS), nursing staff of the 2/10th Australian General Hospital (Malacca, Malaya), 2/13th Australian General Hospital (Tampoi, Johor, Malaya) and 2/4th Australian Casualty Clearing Station (Kajang, Malaya), were aboard the Vyner Brooke. They had already been through the mayhem of the Japanese advance and evacuations since 8th December 1941. They had withdrawn from Malaya to Singapore (The Anglo-Chinese School, St Patrick's School and The Swiss Club, respectively) and then suffered the bombings and deprivations of battle there.
Twelve lost their lives either during the bombing of the ship or in the water during more than 24 hours. All the survivors spoke of the extremely strong current and, where possible, they tied their life-rafts together so as to stay together. The six nurses whose life-rafts never made land had done exactly that. Their number also included some civilians and children. Although seen by other survivors, they were unable to be reached and, it is assumed, washed out to sea with their bodies never recovered:
|Photo||Name||Serial No.||Rank||Unit||Birth||Death||loss of life||Notable facts||Tree|
|Louvima Bates||WFX11169||Sister||2/13 AGH||1 Jan 1910 Fremantle WA||14 Feb 1942 Bangka Strait||life-raft never made land||connected|
|Ellenor Calnan||QFX19072||Nurse||2/10 AGH||4 May 1912 Culcairn NSW||14 Feb 1942 Bangka Strait||killed during the bombing||connected|
|Mary Clarke||QFX19072||Nurse||2/10 AGH||20 Jul 1911 Rylstone NSW||14 Feb 1942 Bangka Strait||life-raft never made land||connected|
|Millicent Dorsch||SFX10597||Nurse||2/4 CCS||25 Feb 1912 Brighton SA||15 Feb 1942 Bangka Strait||life-raft never made land||connected|
|Caroline Ennis||VFX38751||Sister||2/13 AGH||13 Aug 1913 Swan Hill VIC||14 Feb 1942 Bangka Strait||life-raft never made land||-|
|Kit Kinsella||VFX61126||Sister||2/4 CCS||1904 Sth Yarra VIC||14 Feb 1942 Bangka Strait||killed during the bombing||connected|
|Gladys McDonald||QFX22815||Sister||2/13 AGH||17 Jul 1909 QLD||14 Feb 1942 Bangka Strait||life-raft never made land||-|
|Olive Paschke||VFX38812||Matron||2/10 AGH||19 Jul 1905 Dimboola VIC||14 Feb 1942 Bangka Strait||life-raft never made land; Royal Red Cross||connected|
|Lavinia Jean Russell||NFX70571||Sister||2/10 AGH||21 Dec 1909 Hurstville NSW||14 Feb 1942 Bangka Strait||killed during the bombing||connected|
|Marjorie Schuman||NFX70520||Sister||2/10 AGH||28 Jan 1911 Inverell NSW||14 Feb 1942 Bangka Strait||killed during the bombing||connected|
|Annie Trenerry||SFX13419||Sister||2/13 AGH||31 May 1909 Moonta SA||14 Feb 1942 Bangka Strait||life-raft never made land||connected|
|Mona Wilton||VFX61225||Sister||2/13 AGH||8 Sep 1913 Willaura VIC||14 Feb 1942 Bangka Strait||killed by debris falling from ship||connected|
Twenty-two nurses (the first chart below), mostly from the two life-boats launched from the port side but also some on individual life-rafts, landed on Radji Beach within hours of the sinking. It was these who had lit a bonfire on the beach that was seen by many survivors in the water, however, unable to approach the beach due to the currents. The small group were joined by other survivors over the next twenty-four hours. This chart lists those twenty-one Australian nurses killed – murdered – by twenty soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army, under the command of Captain Orita Masaru, who ordered them to walk into the ocean before turning a light machine gun and their rifles onto them. Vivian Bullwinkel was also one of this group, however, was wounded and feigned death, thereby escaping. Vivian is classified in the subsequent chart as she spent the war as a POW. The men who had landed on the beach, both military and civilian, were earlier slain nearby in two groups, the first bayoneted and the second shot. The wounded on their stretchers were the last to be executed, by bayonet where they lay. It has been said that these people were prisoners-of-war, however, this is false. Immediately the Japanese arrived on the beach they began slaying them. This event became known as the Bangka Island Massacre:
|Photo||Name||Serial No.||Rank||Unit||Birth||Death||loss of life||Notable facts||Tree|
|'Lainie' Balfour-Ogilvy||SFX10596||Sister||2/4 CCS||11 Jan 1912 Renmark SA||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||connected|
|Alma Beard||WFX11175||Sister||2/13 AGH||14 Jan 1913 Toodyay WA||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||connected|
|Ada Bridge||NFX76284||Sister||2/13 AGH||6 Jul 1907 Scone NSW||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||connected|
|Flo Casson||SFX13418||Sister||2/13 AGH||6 Mar 1908 Warracknabeal VIC||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||had been wounded seriously in the bombing||connected|
|Mary Cuthbertson||VFX38746||Sister||2/10 AGH||5 Mar 1910 Stirling SA||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||connected|
|Irene Drummond||SFX10594||Matron||2/13 AGH||26 Jul 1905 Ashfield NSW||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||mentioned in despatches posthumously||connected|
|Dorothy 'Buddy" Elmes||NFX70526||Nurse||2/10 AGH||27 Apr 1914 Armadale VIC||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||connected|
|Lorna Fairweather||SFX13431||Sister||2/13 AGH||31 Jan 1913 Stirling SA||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||connected|
|Peggy Farmaner||WFX3438||Sister||2/4 CCS||8 Mar 1913 Claremont WA||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||connected|
|Clare Halligan||VFX47776||Sister||2/13 AGH||17 Sep 1904 Ballarat VIC||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||had been wounded in the bombing||-|
|Nancy Harris||NFX76285||Sister||2/13 AGH||15 Jan 1913 Guyra NSW||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||-|
|Minnie Hodgson||WFX11174||Sister||2/13 AGH||16 Aug 908 Perth WA||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||-|
|Nell Keats||SFX11647||Sister||2/10 AGH||1 Jul 1915 Adelaide SA||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||-|
|Jenny Kerr||NFX76279||Sister||2/13 AGH||8 Oct 1910 Monteagle NSW||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||connected|
|Ellie McGlade||NFX76275||Sister||2/13 AGH||2 Jul 1902 Armidale NSW||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||connected|
|Kath Neuss||NFX70527||Sister||2/10 AGH||16 Oct 1911 Ballarat VIC||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||had been wounded seriously in the bombing||-|
|Florence Salmon||NFX70991||Sister||2/10 AGH||20 Oct 1915 Sydney NSW||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||-|
|Jean Stewart||NFX70936||Sister||2/10 AGH||15 Oct 1904 Brisbane QLD||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||-|
|Mona Tait||NFX76281||Nurse||2/13 AGH||6 Feb 1915 Booval QLD||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||-|
|Rosetta Wight||VFX61329||Sister||2/13 AGH||3 Dec 1908 Fish Creek VIC||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||had been wounded seriously in the bombing||connected|
|Bessie Wilmott||WFX3439||Sister||2/4 CCS||24 May 1913 Perth WA||16 Feb 1942 Bangka Island||-||-|
This third chart lists those Australian nurses who landed and surrendered in other parts of the island and were taken to the tin-smeltering town of Muntok. Whilst fortunate not to also have been brutally slain, they spent their next three-and-a-half years as POWs of the Japanese. Muntok's timber and corrugated-iron cinema hall, built for 200 seated movie-goers, was overflowing with some 1,000 internees by sunset on the 16th. The following morning all were marched out to the 'coolie camp' on the outskirts of the town, a stone-walled set of huts previously used by Chinese labourers in the local tin industry. Here there was a well offering brackish water, but no baths or showers. A small hospital hut was cleaned-up and staffed, albeit with no medicines. The oldest of the nurses were Nesta James (5 Dec 1903) and Eileen Short (15 Jan 1904), both 38 years of age. Nesta (2/10th AGH) was also the senior nurse. The youngest, at 25yo, were Joyce Tweddell (3 Jul 1916) and Wilma Oram (17 Aug 1916):
built for 200 seated movie-goers,
was overflowing with some 1,000 internees ...
|Photo||Name||Serial No.||Rank||Unit||Birth||Death||loss of life||Notable facts||Tree|
|Jean Ashton||SFX13548||Sister||2/13 AGH||31 May 1905 Nairne SA||7 Dec 2002 SA||-||discharge date tbc; mentioned in despatches||connected|
|'Pat' Blake||NFX70528||Sister||2/10 AGH||16 Jul 1912 Chatswood NSW||7 Apr 1998 North Sydney NSW||-||discharged 24 Jul 1946||-|
|Jessie Blanch||QFX19074||Nurse||2/10 AGH||18 Mar 1910 Bangalow NSW||15 May 1999 Alstonville NSW||-||discharged 27 Mar 1946; awarded Associate Royal Red Cross||connected|
|Vivian Bullwinkel||VFX61330||Sister||2/13 AGH||18 Dec 1915 Kapunda SA||3 Jul 2000 Perth WA||-||wounded by a bullet in the massacre; discharged 30 Sep 1947; awarded Associate Royal Red Cross||connected|
|Veronica Clancy||NFX75282||Nurse||2/13 AGH||29 Jun 1912 Urelea SA||Oct 1997||-||discharged Dec 1946||connected|
|Winnie Davis||NFX70498||Sister||2/10 AGH||7 Jul 1915 Cowper NSW||19 Jul 1945||died as POW on Sumatra||connected|
|Cecilia Delforce||QFX19071||Nurse||2/10 AGH||7 Sep 1912 Augathella QLD||5 Mar 2011 Broadbeach Waters QLD||-||discharged 9 Jan 1946; mentioned in despatches; the last survivor||connected|
|Jess Doyle||NFX70499||Sister||2/10 AGH||27 Nov 1911 Sydney NSW||tba Upper Hutt NZ||-||discharged 8 Apr 1946; mentioned in despatches||connected|
|Dot Freeman||VFX39351||Nurse||2/10 AGH||17 Jul 1913 Randwick NSW||8 Aug 1945||died as POW on Sumatra||-|
|Shirley Gardam||TFX2183||Nurse||2/4 CCS||24 Aug 1910 Ulverstone TAS||4 Apr 1945||died as POW on Bangka Island||-|
|Jean Greer||NFX70937||Nurse||2/13 AGH||21 Oct 1912 Petersham NSW||7 Dec 2001 Chichester, Sussex ENG||-||discharged 23 Sep 1946||connected|
|'Pat' Gunther||NFX70493||Sister||2/10 AGH||31 Aug 1913 Casino NSW||Dec 2007 NSW||-||discharged 4 Feb 1947; mentioned in despatches||connected|
|Mavis Hannah||SFX10595||Nurse||2/4 CCS||12 Oct 1910 Claremont WA||1994 SA||-||discharged 2 Dec 1946||-|
|Iole Harper||WFX11172||Nurse||2/13 AGH||15 May 1911 East Guildford WA||4 Sep 1998 Guildford WA||-||discharged 12 May 1947||connected|
|Blanche Hempsted||QFX22714||Sister||2/13 AGH||9 Sep 1908 Brisbane QLD||19 Mar 1945||died as POW on Bangka Island||-|
|Gladys Hughes||VFX61331||Sister||2/13 AGH||19 Sep 1908 Waikino NZ||31 May 1945||died as POW on Sumatra||connected|
|Nesta James||VFX39347||Sister||2/10 AGH||5 Dec 1903 Carmarthen Wales||1984 Kew VIC||-||discharged 17 Oct 1946; mentioned in despatches; awarded Associate Royal Red Cross||connected|
|Betty Jeffrey||VFX53059||Nurse||2/10 AGH||14 May 1908 Hobart TAS||13 Sep 2000 VIC||-||discharged 6 Nov 1946; awarded Order of Australia Medal (OAM)||connected|
|Violet McElnea||QFX22822||Nurse||2/13 AGH||14 Feb 1904 Ingham QLD||1959 Chatswood NSW||-||discharged 4 Apr 1946; first of the surviving POWs to pass away||-|
|Pearl 'Mitz' Mittelheuser||QFX19068||Sister||2/10 AGH||28 Apr 1904 Bundaberg QLD||18 Aug 1945||died as POW on Sumatra||connected|
|Sylvia Muir||QFX22816||Nurse||2/13 AGH||24 Aug 1915 Longreach QLD||18 Feb 1996||-||discharged 10 May 1946||-|
|Wilma Oram||VFX58783||Sister||2/13 AGH||17 Aug 1916 Glenorchy VIC||28 May 2001 VIC||-||discharged 5 Jul 1946; appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM)||-|
|Chris Oxley||QFX19073||Nurse||2/10 AGH||7 Jun 1912 Charters Towers QLD||tba||-||discharged 27 Mar 1946; mentioned in despatches||-|
|'Mina' Raymont||TFX6012||Sister||2/4 CCS||17 Dec 1911 Prospect SA||8 Feb 1945||died as POW on Bangka Island||-|
|Eileen Short||QFX22911||Nurse||2/13 AGH||15 Jan 1904 Maryborough QLD||25 Apr 1975 Toowoomba QLD||-||discharged 4 Apr 1946||connected|
|Jessie Simons||TFX6023||Sister||2/13 AGH||23 Aug 1911 Launceston TAS||23 Dec 2004 Launceston TAS||-||discharged 16 Apr 1946; mentioned in despatches||-|
|'Rene' Singleton||VFX48842||Sister||2/10 AGH||21 Jun 1908 Melbourne VIC||20 Feb 1945||died as POW on Bangka Island||-|
|Val Smith||QFX22819||Nurse||2/13 AGH||2 Feb 1912 Cairns QLD||tba||-||discharged 4 Apr 1946; mentioned in despatches||-|
|Ada Syer||WFX11105||Nurse||2/10 AGH||15 Oct 1910 Prahran VIC||Apr 1991||-||discharged 10 Aug 1948; mentioned in despatches||-|
|Florence Trotter||QFX19077||Nurse||2/10 AGH||4 Oct 1915 Eastwood NSW||Jul 2002 QLD||-||discharged 27 Mar 1946; mentioned in despatches||-|
|Joyce Tweddell||QFX19070||Nurse||2/10 AGH||3 Jul 1916 Brisbane QLD||1995 Caloundra QLD||-||discharged 27 Jun 1946||-|
|Beryl Woodbridge||VFX53060||Nurse||2/10 AGH||11 Feb 1905 Hotham West VIC||29 Sep 1986 Canterbury VIC||-||discharged 6 Mar 1946||connected|
On 2nd March, the nurses were given an hour's notice that they were being moved: across Bangka Strait, to the city of Palembang, Sumatra. They were housed in two typically-Dutch colonial homes; one occupied by the 2/13th AGH nurses (13 POWs) and the other by those of 2/10th AGH and 2/4th CCS (18 POWs). Jean Ashton and 'Mitz' Mittelheuser were elected 'house captains', respectively. The Japanese refused to recognise the nurses as prisoners-of-war, but rather as 'internees'. A subtle difference maybe, but the Japanese government provided a token payment to POW's, whereas internees had to find work that brought a return!
Midway through 1944, the nearby men's camp was moved and the women were re-located into one of the dormitories. In October, however, the Japanese guards decided to again move the women. An initial party was despatched back to Bangka Island, but further inland than the 'coolie camp'. Fairly new, and more space than the previous camps, this camp was surrounded by high bamboo fences. There was a hospital hut, a kitchen, a well with reasonable water, but no electricity. It was to accommodate some 550 women and 150 children. The remainder of the nurses followed several weeks later. Malaria, not a large problem until now, became acute by early 1945. By February, 31 of the 32 Australian nurses were suffering from it. They called it 'Bangka fever'. Four of the nurses succumbed to disease and malnutrition at Belalau on Bangka Island: Mina Raymont, 'Rene' Singleton, Blanche Hempsted and Dora Gardam.
In May 1945, the women's camp was again moved, back to Sumatra, but to a rubber plantation about fifteen kilometres from Loebok Linggau. Starved of information of the 'outside' world, the captives did not know that Germany had just surrendered. Gladys Hughes died shortly after the re-location. Winnie Davis did likewise in mid-July. On 8th August, Dot Freeman and Pearl 'Mitz' Mittelheuser died on 18th August; three days after Japan's surrender. The following day, the camp commander distributed Red Cross parcels he had been hoarding; no-one had needed to die of starvation!
The trauma caused by the announcement of the end of the war is often underestimated. The emotions of survival were immense. But, did anybody know where they were? How were they to be rescued? By early September a small team of Dutch commandos, with radio communications to Ceylon, parachuted into the camp. There were still more armed Japanese guards than returning Dutch or other Allied troops to disarm and control them. Sporadic fighting started between Indonesian nationalists and the colonial Dutch troops. An Australian doctor, Major Harry Windsor, and the matron-in-chief of AANS, Colonel Annie Sage RRC, headed an Australian team in Singapore who were searching for the Vyner Brooke survivors. Of course, they were searching for sixty-five nurses. Just sixteen remained: none weighed more than thirty kilograms; many were very feeble.
At 06:00 on 11th September the twenty-four Australian nurses left Belalau as part of a larger group of sixty by two trucks (with two Australian paratroops) to the railway at Loebok Linggau, where they were put on a train to an airstrip at Lahat. From there a aeroplane, with Doctor Harry Windsor (years later at St Vincent's Hospital, Harry would perform Australia's first heart transplant and mentored Doctor Victor Chang), flew them to Singapore. Iole Harper had discharged herself from the hospital. Jenny Greer was carried. And, they caught up on war news (they had only been told that the war was over; now they found out that the Allies had won), political developments (they never knew Curtin had replaced Menzies and had since died), fashions, films and music. Windsor brought their enlistment photos for identification; the photos no longer matched the people! Also aboard were Annie Sage, who addressed herself to the nurses as 'your mother', and Nurse Jean Floyd, an original member of the 2/10th and then of the 2/13th who had been evacuated on the Empress Star. Family. The nurses began to feel safe.
At Singapore, they were admitted to the hospital (now the 2/14th AGH) at St Patrick's School. Then, Vivian Bullwinkel was able to tell of the terrible massacre. Captain Orita Masaru of the 229th Regiment of the Imperial Japanese Army's 38th Division became a prisoner of war of the Soviet Union following Japan's surrender. After being held for three years, he was returned to Japan where he was charged with his war crimes. On the eve of his trial he committed suicide.
As a group, the 24 nurses boarded the Manunda on 5th October for home. Their numbers depleted as the ship made port at Fremantle (Western Australia), Port Melbourne (Victoria) and Sydney Harbour (New South Wales). Back in Australia, after being feted at official receptions, they were each granted a month's leave to consider their futures, and then individually de-mobilised between 9th January 1946 (Cecilia 'Del' Delforce) and 10th October 1948 (Ada Syer). The last to finalise her military service was Vivian Bullwinkel. Viv served in the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan in 1946 and 47, during which time, being an eyewitness, she gave evidence at the Tokyo war crimes tribunal, before being de-mobbed from the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). She transferred to the militia, remaining until 1970 and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. She was awarded the Associate Royal Red Cross (ARRC) and Florence Nightingale Medal in 1947, and later appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1973 and Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1993.
Seven of the survivors returned to Bangka Island in 1993 for the dedication of a memorial: Jennie Ashton, Vivian Bullwinkel, Pat Darling (nee Gunther), Mavis Allgrove (nee Hannah), Wilma Oram, Flo Syer (nee Trotter) and Joyce Tweddell.
Pat Darling (nee Gunther) passed away in December 2007, aged 94 years. She was the last of the Vyner Brooke nurses.
|the nurses of 2/4th CCS: (standing) Shirley Gardam,|
Kit Kinsella, Mavis Hannah, Bessie Wilmott, Lainie Balfour-Ogilvy,
Mina Raymont, (kneeling) Millicent Dorsch, Peggy Farmaner
In the broader picture
During the Second World War, 3,477 women joined the AANS. This project has considered just 65 of those ladies. However, of 71 members who lost their lives during the war, 41 were from the Vyner Brooke. Thirty-eight AANS members became prisoners-of-war, with 24 of those from the Vyner Brooke. Of 137 decorations awarded to AANS members, sixteen were associated with this single incident. The Vyner Brooke group were certainly significant in the life of the AANS.
|original nurses of 2/10th AGH|
Honours and awards
For exceptional services in military nursing, the Royal Red Cross First Class (RRC) was awarded to Olive Paschke. Associate, or Second Class (ARRC), crosses were awarded to Jessie Blanch, Vivian Bullwinkel and Nesta James.
Mention in Despatches, in Australia now the Commendation for Gallantry, was awarded to Jean Ashton, Cecilia Delforce, Irene Drummond, Jess Doyle, 'Pat' Gunther, Nesta James ARRC, Chris Oxley, Jessie Simons, Val Smith, Ada Syer and Flo Trotter.
Most of the nurses also qualified for the 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal and Australian Service Medal 1939-1945. Some qualified for the Defence Medal.
the world is a better place because of you.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Wikipedia: SS Vyner Brooke; accessed 1 Mar 2020
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Shaw, Ian Winton. 'On Radji Beach: The Story of the Australian Nurses after the Fall of Singapore'. MacMillan, Sydney, 2010. ISBN 978-1-4050-4024-2
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