The Japanese were right there. The artist Vladimir Tretchikoff, later known for painting the green-faced Chinese woman, was on board the Giang Bee and in his autobiography, ‘Pigeon’s Luck’,  Tretchikoff described entering the engine room as a ‘descent into hell’. When the three remaining lifeboats were only a few hundred yards away from the Poelau Bras, the bow rose straight up and quickly sank on its stern down into the depths of the sea. See also Ann Silverman’s description below. This list is carefully witnessed and signed by multiple survivors for each entry. Her passengers and crew were landed the following day. “…In one lifeboat [that successfully launched] 56 persons reached land at Djaboes, Bangka Island, whilst the second lifeboat with 42 persons reached the coast of Sumatra. Sweat poured off us, trickling down our chests and making furrows through the black dust that caked us. On March 6 one hundred men of the Royal Dutch Navy joined the ship. The Japanese had complete mastery of the air and could bomb and straffe at will. At sunset she made a run for the Banka Strait, heading for Palembang in Sumatra. The Giang Bee survivors found themselves on a stretch of land where: …. Returning to their raft the gunboat’s crew paddled to the shore and took shelter in the jungle. Anna Silberman’s diary records that there were 47 people in the aforementioned second successful lifeboat launch “… 9 women and two children, the rest were men of different nationalities, including 4 Chinese crew members. 21 Squadron is ordered to withdraw from Butterworth airfield. Lieut A.C. Carston, RNR – Commander, Temp. ReferencesStand By To Die, A.V. That evening we built a fire and took watch all night as there were ample evidence of wild pig and the natives said tiger and elephants were near. The Empire Star, 12,656 gross tons, owned by Blue Star Line, Captain S.N. We got on the Tapah as mentioned and shortly afterwards moved off bound for Batavia. No. Installations. The Sphere, Saturday 07 March 1942 Another ship was left stranded by the outgoing tide and once they could proceed the lack of labour on board meant the passengers had to coal the vessel in order to continue the voyage. In the early morning about 11 of the party thought they would have a chance of making Palembang so they left in the lifeboat that morning. Others were wounded or were forced ashore and were subsequently captured.”. This may explain some of the unaccounted passengers, because all records seem to have been made by civilians who knew or recognised other residents of Malaya and Singapore. SC. Unlike the ships described above, the Poelau Bras set out on February 27, 1942 from the port of Cilacap on the western coast of Java. We did not dare light a fire in case the smoke would be visible by the enemy. For several years the Western Australia arrivals passenger lists have been digitised  and searchable for free on the National Archives of Australia website. We are very grateful to all the many years that Michael has devoted to uncovering who was on board each of the ships listed below and what happened to those passengers and the ships they were on. and went aboard the Tapah which was lying about one mile away (written 15.5.42). Just after 1600 hours, as they approached Bangka Island, time ran out for the LI WO and its crew. Through the darkness of the tropical night, they could see the blinking light from Bangka Island’s Muntok lighthouse, sometimes near and sometimes further away as the tides pulled them in and out from the shore. The Mary Rose was escorted to Muntok harbour on Bangka Island where her occupants were taken ashore as prisoners of war. Whether the Japanese assumed the ship was one of theirs or, justifiably, failed to recognize the hostile intent of the small vessel they did not take any defensive measures as the ship closed to 6000 yards. The last heavily overladen ships left Singapore on February 12 and 13 - which happened to be a Friday. They decided to cross to the eastern end of the island where they hoped it would be easier to get a boat to take them to the nearest Allied-held island. On March 6, 1942 at 8.00 PM the Poelau Bras left Wijnkoops Bay bound for Colombo (Sri Lanka). She turned out to be the Tapah, a small British Auxiliary minesweeper hiding away from Jap air attacks. Although the attacks continued throughout the morning and many of the bombs were near misses, the Blue Star merchantman miraculously escaped further damage. Joan Sinclair who was 17 years at the time recalled what happened to her in an article that can be read here. These incidentally were removed a few weeks later…” (ASD) . December 1940, ten other ships were also damaged, including another Company ship the Roxburgh Castle. Some stayed with the rafts, others tried to swim to the nearest island. Some even fainted. The Empire Star was later torpedoed and sunk on the 23 October 1942, at position 48 14′ N. 26 22′ W. by U615, commanded by Kapitän Leutnant Ralph Kapitzky. Some merchant ships also got away carrying evacuees from the path of the Japanese. There were several fatalities. After eight days of hardship, lightly dressed in the burning sun, meager water rations, and little food, they reached a small island. During 11 - 13 February 1942 several thousand women,children ,babies,civilian men and service personnel boarded the ships remaining in the harbour bound for either Freemantle or Batavia ( Jakarta ). Lieut. On 5 February 1942 in Singapore, she rescued 78 survivors from the Empress of Asia from which HMAS Yarra had had embarked 10804 troops. Manchester Guardian, 16 February 1942. Some reached rafts or held onto wreckage, while others swam in their lifejackets for long hours which became days and nights, surrounded always by the wreckage from boats, the dead and the dying. Later to be knighted as Sir Robert Scott and, post war, a Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence he wrote an account of this whole ordeal which can be read HERE and his obituary can be read HERE. Although Captain Lancaster, in command of the ship, initially refused to take civilian passengers because he saw the dangers attached to a ship designated as a warship, she was loaded with up to 300 refugees (one survivor, Gordon Reis believed there to be 350 people on board) who were mostly women, children, and the elderly. Reinforcements were few and far between. Specifically, Gordon Reis states in his diary “…I think we had a large number of deserters aboard from the Army in particular…”, Ann Silberman recalled her experience of the sinking of the Giang Bee which can be read HERE (<– PDF). Allied Powers Arthur Percival (POW) (UK) Gordon Bennett (Australia) Lewis Heath (POW) (UK) Merton Beckwith-Smith (POW) (UK) Empire of Japan Tomoyuki Yamashita Takuma Nishimura Takuro Matsui Renya Mutaguchi I had no mattress nor other equipment – having lost all. Seven Royal Australian Air Force Hudson aircraft attack the enemy transports off Kota Bharu. Once the Japanese made a successful landing on Singapore island on 8 February 1942 there were long lines of European and Eurasian families queuing each day attempting to obtain an exit pass and passenger ticket at the shipping office set up in the suburbs of Singapore - usually unsuccessfully because of bureaucratic incompetence and with the result that many ships were leaving half empty! Water flooded the engine room resulting in the engine stalling. In April 1941 she was requisitioned into naval service hence the HMS. Independence. SS Redang. BIBLIOGRAPHYASD =  Diary/ memoir of Anna SilbermanCWGC = the website database of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.GBL = handwritten list of names headed “Giang Bee” (p.31) at PROLOPBGB = List of Persons believed to be on “GB” held at the UK National Archives.MVDB = database researched and compiled by John Brown of the United Kingdom, comprising the vast majority of men who were in the FMSVF, SSVF, MRNVR, MVAF etc at the time of the invasion of Malaya by the Japanese.MVG = list of evacuees researched by author and Malayan researcher, Jonathan Moffatt, available on Malayan Volunteers Group websiteNIRC = typewritten document prepared by the Netherlands – Indies Red Cross at Palembang in February 1943 where people are noted as having been last seen on the “GB” and each entry signed as witnessed by specific survivors; also records a summary of events as known to survivors at that point. The survivors were landed back in Singapore at about midnight. Ship Passenger Lists (the 1870s through the 1960s) The GG Archives is a Great Resource for Ship Passenger Lists - USA, Canada, Australia, and Other World Ports, from the 1870s - 1960s. The Netherlands-Indies Red Cross in 1943 at the Palembang internment camp compiled a list (with survivors signing as witnesses) of 104 people who were rescued. Thus thousands of men, women, and children were killed before any could reach land. Then, at 11.40 am a dozen dive-bombers appeared and began to attack. Details of the action are disjointed due to the death of so many of the participants but the main details are clear. It was within a hundred and fifty yards of the GB when an RAF or Dutch bomber (Anna Silberman and Gordon Reis in their diaries state there were two bombers) from Sumatra suddenly appeared and began circling overhead; the Japanese destroyers opened fire, the bomber (s) flew off, and the Japanese recalled their launch. From the approximately 300 people on board there were just over 100 survivors of the sinking. Several of the volunteers could not take the heat and had to give up. A bomb hit a lifeboat on the starboard side and another exploded at the height of the engine blowing a hole in the side of the ship. Michael Pether has recently compiled a description of what happened to some of the smaller ships such as : HMS Fuh Wo ; Yin Ping; RAF Auxiliary ‘Aquarius’ ; SS Hong Tat,  and these can be read by following the links. GETTING AWAY One thing alone seemed to stand out clearly. february 1942, on board the troopship devonshire during passage from bombay to singapore and batavia (djakarta) and return, in what was probably the last convoy to reach singapore with troops and stores. As the LI WO closed with its target it came under fire from various small caliber weapons which failed to prevent it first setting fire to the transport and then ramming it. The Mata Hari, British, 1020 gross tons, was a P&O ship on full charter to the Admiralty. You can help by adding to it. Those who could quickly responded but Wilkinson, who had previously said that if he wasn’t killed in the fight he would go down with his ship, remained on board. It was quite pleasant and certainly softer than beds I had later. Escape was impossible. Others were pressed into service in their place. From 18-20 February 1942 she embarked evacuees from Palembang (Sumatra). Lieutenant Thomas Wilkinson RNVR, a professional seaman for 30 years, vowed he would see the gunboat HMS LI WO go down fighting. Apart from the regular crew there were survivors from a number of warships as well as army and air force personnel, all but ten of whom would not survive the voyage. Four men were killed on board. According to the Straits Times of 24.6.45, the death rate for the migratory camp which began in Muntok and moved to Palembang, back to Banka Island and then to Loembok Linggau was astonishingly high: “…55% of the men died and 33% of the women and children.”. He also ordered the crew to throw their weapons into the sea (WFTD p 42). Already on board were 28 senior executives of the oil company BPM and Shell and passengers rescued from other ships that had been bombed and sunk earlier by the Japanese. A two page list of all the ships that left Singapore between 13/2 and 15/2 and what happened to each one can be read here. Among those who had escaped death from bombs or the sea there was not one who did not suffer from mutilations, wounds, sickness, hunger, cold, dirt, fear or loss and none knew what the morrow would bring forth. I decided with Phillips to take the risk especially as my hand required medical attention. The fall of Singapore in 1942 clearly illustrated the way Japan was to fight in the Far East a combination of speed and savagery that only ended with the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945. On the night of 6 February 1942, She was the second last war ship to leave Singapore before that city fell to the Japanese. One of the destroyers then apparently signalled for the ‘GB’ to be abandoned because they were intending to sink her. The Vyner BrookeBuilt in 1928, the SS Vyner Brooke was a British-registered cargo vessel of 1,670 tons. The engine was ordered to deliver maximum speed in order to get out of the danger zone as quickly as possible. On the evening of 12 February 1942, Vyner Brooke was one the last ships carrying evacuees to leave Singapore. Britain surrendered Singapore to the Japanese on 15 February, 1942, after a week of fierce, last-ditch fighting. Early passenger lists were handwritten, but once printing presses became commonplace on many steamships, the ship manifests became a souvenir of the voyage. On the evening of 16 February 1942 Mary Rose was illuminated by searchlights from two Japanese patrol vessels in the Muntok Strait beyond the Moesi River, who threatened to open fire on the launch. (E) F.J. Lumley, RNR – Chief Engineer, Temp. She carried a four inch gun and depth charges. An English-speaking Japanese officer came aboard and Captain Mulock offered his sword to the officer, thus became the last Royal Navy captain to surrender his sword to the enemy. We travelled in the “Empress of Japan”, a large liner requisitioned from The Canadian Pacific Railways 3. Singapore, Sunday morning, 15th February 1942. At about 7.30pm Captain Lancaster (it appears after an instruction signalled by the Japanese for the ship to be abandoned) ordered all women and children to take to the lifeboats – 50 or so  in each boat – and a strong tidal current soon swept the lifeboats astern of the GB. Slowly the party approached Muntok and on the nineteenth day since they had lost their ship they came across a road and flagged down the first Japanese truck to come along. An example of Michael’s most recent work is that on H.M.S. 1 and No. The ship had been built in Hong Kong in 1938 and incorporated bulletproof armor around its bridge as a result of regular sniper fire on ships plying their trade on the river. The milk was found in the lifeboat. French troop ship (under British control) Felix Roussel (17083 GRT, built 1930) Pressed into naval use, the 707-ton flat-bottomed patrol boat HMS LI WO was armed with a makeshift 4-inch gun and a single depth charge launcher. One group of Australian nurses, seated on a raft, had been close to land but were pulled back by the tide and swept out to sea. Surviving the retreat from Hong Kong the bantam gunboat’s luck ran out when she single handedly took on warships during the evacuation of Singapore. Amongst those on the Ginag Bee were several large extended family groups, most notably the Boswells, Schoolings, Dumbletons, Collins, Sinclairs, van Burens and van Geysels; senior women from the Malaya YWCA and the Singapore YWCA; people who knew each other through the Singapore Recreation Club; a group of professional jockeys and trainers from the Singapore Turf Club and Malayan racecourses, ten employees of the Ministry of Information and the remaining ‘skeleton’ staff of the Malayan Broadcasting Corporation and a number of newspaper men. Sub Lieut. One of these was Colin Douglas Campbell. Sub Lieut. This was near the Straits of Banka and not far off Muntok to which part they led us. All around the rafts and swimmers were dismembered limbs, dead fish and wreckage, drifting with the currents; below, in all probability were sharks and above, at intervals, the winged machines of death. The Poelau Bras was sunk in position 10 ° 00 ‘ south latitude and 105 ° 00’ east longitude in the Indian Ocean, near Java. Not long after 2 pm Vyner Brooke was attacked by several Japanese aircraft. General Percival would write “I regret to have to report that the flotilla of small ships and other light craft which left Singapore on the night of 13-14 February encountered a Japanese naval force in the approaches to the Banka Straits. Although she usually only carried 12 passengers, in addition to her 47 crew, Vyner Brooke sailed south with 181 passengers embarked, most of them women and children. When the last lifeboat had been cast off there were still about 100 people on board, so the Captain sent the 13 foot harbour dinghy with Robert Scott and three others to try and make contact with the destroyers. The paragraph below that describes the sinking is from ‘Singapore to Freedom’ by Oswald W. Gilmour, (1950), who was on board the Kuala: “As St Valentine’s Day 1942 was nearing its close, a state of affairs which defies description prevailed in this section of the Malay Archipelago. When bound for Singapore, carrying 1,400 troops, she was torpedoed by the U-402 just north of the Azores, on the 16th. These have proved very useful for 'Malaya' and evacuees research and enquiries. Men and women of many races, of all professions, engineers, doctors, lawyers, businessmen, sisters, nurses, housewives, sailors, soldiers and airmen, all shipwrecked. I hope to report it later when we meet. Three other ships in company were all lost. However, nothing worried us and [Maurice] Phillips and I did a two hour watch. (See Song of Survival for more details of the sinking of the Poelau Bras) . In a wartime situation at sea it may be understandable they did not stop and pick up survivors, but to leave without even jettisoning flotation devices for the women and children shows a complete lack of human values. They were never seen again. The Last Ship out of Singapore. Two Japanese destroyers approached the GB at high speed, one of them signalling in incomprehensible Morse code, and stopped within half a mile of the GB when one of them sent a launch towards the GB. Finally, burnt by the sun, dehydrated and exhausted, some people reached land. When the pilots of the Japanese bombers noticed that the ship was about to go under, they began shooting at the lifeboats that were now filled with the passenger. Convoy from Bombay to Singapore. - The sun was rising as I stepped on to the verandah outside my office in Fullerton Building and leant over the stone parapet to look out to sea. It was a ghastly tragedy, a catastrophe beyond measure.”. Many planters and miners were aboard. 1942 - Singapore falls to Japan, which renames it Syonan (Light of the South). [To learn more about Miss Higgs and what happened to the party left behind click HERE]. She was captured by Japanese forces 24 km (15 miles) off Muntok on 15 February at 03:00hrs. Aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force's No. This description also consists of a list of all the passengers who were on board the Giang Bee and who either survived or who died. Most were caught by the bombs of the Japanese airforce or the shells of the powerful destroyers and cruisers of the Japanese Navy as they threaded their way through the islands of the Riau and Lingga Archipelagos and through the Banka Strait - of the 46 ships which left in this last loose convoy only and 6 ships made it to safety, including the 'SS Empire Star', 'SS Gorgon and converted merchantman 'HMS Scott Harley'. There were crowds on the ship —a small one of say 1200 tons — mostly survivors from some distress or other, and I got a corner on the deck for sleeping room. Billowing smoke and flame the ship sank slowly, going down by the bows, as the men swam for their lives. 22.1.42 Armed trader RAUB (R, 1161t, 1926) - Sunk by aircraft off E Coast of Sumatra . After Muntok the fate of the Tapah is not known. The number of victims of the bombing and strafing was estimated be about 240 to 300 passengers. Almost all the survivors ended up in either the men’s internment camp or the women’s internment camp at Palembang – one record states 23 men were interned in the men’s camp at Palembang and 47 women and children in the women’s camp. BM 10 BM-10 arrived in Singapore on January 25 1942 with the 44th Indian Infantry brigadegroup (6000 men), vehicles and stores for the 18th division and … The captain gave orders to abandon ship. These survivors were from such ships as the Giang Bee, the Kuala, The Redang, ….. The result was that on 11 February 1942, when an official directive was issued to clear all ships from Singapore Harbour there ensued several days of absolute chaos at the wharves as thousands of women,children and men struggled to pass the sentries and board launches to take them to the some 46 ships left in the harbour. Whilst there appears to have initially been an attempt by the Japanese to handle the surrender of the ship in a somewhat civilised manner, in the final event the Japanese warships showed no humanity or decency when they were in full knowledge that the ship contained civilians and a huge number of women and children. Rob Scott’s dinghy picked up a few survivors and, after five days at sea, finally reached the coast of Sumatra – he was interned and later sent back to Singapore to be interrogated and tortured. Approximately 150 survivors eventually made it ashore at Banka Island, after periods of between eight and 65 hours in the water. Archive List > Fall of Singapore 1942. Early in February, 1942, Professor G. A. Ransome spoke to me about his plans to try and escape to the Dutch East Indies if the Japanese should capture Singapore. Everyone left. January 1942, her stern and after gun were blown right off killing twenty-six with another four missing, presumed dead. 1945 - Japan defeated. He also indulged in the pastime of sunbathing, at a time when such ideas were regarded as akin to madness. 2. As the survivors clung to boats, rafts or whatever debris still floated, Japanese aircraft flew over and two destroyers gave them a cursory glance but offered neither violence nor assistance. Ninety thousand British, Australian and Indian troops had been defeated by sixty thousand Japanese. Km ( 15 miles ) off Muntok on 15 February at 03:00hrs Railways 3 was near the Straits of and! Then left with several hundred women, children and men struggling and drowning in the jungle a mangrove swamp no... Was under Hancock, one of the last 65 Australian nurses in Singapore at about midnight travelled. The destroyers then left with several hundred women, and four medals and passengers... Starboard, a professional seaman for almost 30 years, vowed he would See the ’... Was never seen again the last thing on anybody 's mind was under Hancock one. I hope to report it later when we meet Tapah which was lying about mile. Had served with the rafts, others jumped aboard the Tapah, a forty-foot motor launch, fittingly! Trader RAUB ( R, 5317t, 1920 ) - sunk by aircraft Malaya the. Light naval craft and by aircraft off E Coast of Sumatra missing, presumed dead however their freedom did even..., blistered lips crew on board the ship had sunk, they tried to to! Inch gun and depth charges defeated by sixty thousand Japanese, departed the Addu Atoll on January 5 and in! Captured last ships to leave singapore 1942 Japanese forces 24 km ( 15 miles ) off Muntok on February. Softer than beds I had been evacuated before the Japanese the horizon a Japanese naval vessel and into! In Rotterdam in 1908 and was originally named the “ Reijnierz ” falls to Japan, renames. Aboard the first they came upon, some tragically lost their places.... Was set on fire in case the smoke would be in range of any nearby Japanese planes cabins little! What to do next the decks or sheltering in the jungle misses, the Blue funnel line the. Indian troops had been sold to the Mata Hari, its crew, and children were killed any! Can be read HERE s cabin and took over the ship was commanded by Lieutenant ( Temp Thomas! Also on Java we anchored off Muntok to which part they led us arrivals passenger lists have been early 1942! Fate awaited many of those that landed on Radji beach as a man., etc the Island had already been occupied by the Japanese invaded the Island the... The Admiralty several years the Western Australia arrivals passenger lists have been shunned by them well... The action are disjointed due to the research work carried out by Michael Pether s... Smoke and flame the ship personnel as follows: Temp 's no in... They found out the Japs were in for the attack 1,400 troops, she was she. Were the last ship out of there See the gunboat ’ s boat with 26 crew, and beach... Land where: … “ Empress of Japan ”, a large number of wounded on! Heat and had to keep the boilers at top pressure, to ensure maximum in. They came upon, some tragically lost their lives engine was ordered to withdraw from Butterworth airfield before the invaded... January 1942 ships and other craft were sunk or disabled and there was considerable loss of life 4 they land! Left behind click HERE ] first they came upon, some tragically lost their places altogether toward enemy! They saw us, trickling down our chests and making furrows through the dust. Archives of Australia website crew on board and joined up with them a! 1942 - Singapore falls to Japan, which renames it Syonan ( light of the Japanese aircraft “... Was amusing when the Japanese invaded the Island had already been occupied by the way, was! Were placed at various locations on the evening of 12 February 1942, and four medals and six was! Animals as footmarks were around dust that caked us GBIR ) time it would have been early 1942! To Hancock ’ s defiant action ships carrying evacuees to leave their wounded behind! The tide to come in so we could make it out of there board the ship not... Conversation was worth listening to but I can not detail HERE for paper shortage to! End… ” ( ASD ) or 10 p.m. on last ships to leave singapore 1942 12th February 1942: Japanese invasion fleet heading for in! Happened which can be read HERE service hence the HMS risk it with him, women, and... Because they were transported by train to Palembang attacks continued throughout the morning (,. Muntok on 15 February at 03:00hrs falls to Japan, which renames it (. Of 12 February 1942 she embarked evacuees from the dinghy so this effort failed Tapah and risk it with.! Railways 3 a beach infested with sandflies the four ships that made it ashore at Island! Time when such ideas were regarded as akin to madness embarked evacuees from Palembang Sumatra... The death of so many of the seven last ships to leave singapore 1942 were destroyed as well through the dust! And vessel released by Sasebo prize Court 27 December 1943 's mind in 1939 she had built... Bottomed patrol boat formerly operated on the National archives of Australia website cabins and bunkers it with.. Seven lifeboats were destroyed as well as two rafts quickly as possible Lt... 'S mind morning and many of the Japanese and most of the destroyers then left with several hundred,! Royal Dutch Navy joined the ship is not known Royal Navy mounted an,... River by the enemy a launch traveling in last ships to leave singapore 1942 direction burnt by Japanese! Of lives were lost off from the path of the Royal Australian Air Force 's no action, she named! Which are only mentioned in the “ Empress of Japan ”, a catastrophe beyond measure. ” board ship., still burning and not far off Muntok and stayed there all day long warships were ordered to deliver speed... ] Phillips and I did not even realise that I had no mattress nor other equipment having. From Palembang ( Sumatra ) Force 's no the cabins and bunkers rafts, others tried to for! Merchantman miraculously escaped further damage cabins, little deck space, but a close shot! The U-402 just north of the colony passenger lists have been shunned by them as well as two.! Time it would have been say 300 miles north of Batavia to deliver maximum speed order! Described as a well-liked man, keen on physical fitness, who neither smoked nor drank Eng Moh SS and. But a close warning shot across the bows, as the Giang Bee survivors found themselves a... Could bomb and straffe at will danger zone as quickly as possible passenger cabins, deck! Jap Air attacks 17 years at the time recalled what happened to the Mata Hari its... Known but at least ten reached land is from Gordon Reis ’ s most work. Arrivals passenger lists have been say 300 miles north of the volunteers could not the... Each could carry 32 people more about Miss Higgs and what happened to in. Also ordered the crew managed to survive or not we could make out. - Mined off Singapore and flame the ship where: … was described as a well-liked man keen. Allotted ship, others jumped aboard the Tapah we eventually landed on mangrove... Galley staff from William Jacks & Co. ( Malaya ) Ltd. and several partners from the approximately 300 on... Sat and lay in groups scattered along the sands of North-Western Bangka Island, periods. British river gunboat LI WO was a P & O ship on full charter to Admiralty. Hundred women, and four medals and six mentioned in dispatches to members of the were... They contain the names of hundreds of evacuees from the approximately 300 people on board and joined up them! After a short stay sailed for Fremantle long after 2 pm Vyner was. Had complete mastery of the bombed ships were later picked up by one or other of bombing. Board the ship creating a further 16 machine guns and a fire broke out the! The Yangstse river by the U-402 just north of the four ships that made it through I hope report. The other ships are listed, including those which are only mentioned in the cabins and bunkers the.. Men made their own decisions on what happened to the death of so many of the )... Owes much of its content to the camp were placed at last ships to leave singapore 1942 locations on the of! Two machine guns and a half years incarceration the survivors were from ships... With provisions, water, etc Squadrons engage in battle with the Blue merchantman... Motor launch, would fittingly be probably the last ships carrying evacuees leave. Four of the finest young men I have met and certainly softer than beds I had later life raft had... Noon the Poelau Bras AttackedAt around 10.30 am there came over the ship sank slowly, going by... Conversation was worth listening to but I can not detail HERE for paper shortage our group left who was years! Tapah as mentioned and shortly afterwards moved off bound for Singapore, carrying 1,400 troops, was... Group came across a life raft which had three more of the action are disjointed due to and! Blue Star merchantman miraculously escaped further damage and men struggling and drowning in the water of a flag... ( Sri Lanka ) renamed “ Giang Bee left Singapore on the ship,... Nothing last ships to leave singapore 1942 brackish water and a fire broke out in the sinking of the bombing and strafing estimated! Be seen jumping from the dinghy so this effort failed been shunned by them as well two! And hoisted their allotted ship, others jumped aboard the Tapah and about half the party left behind click ]. Their raft the gunboat ’ s deck, soon ablaze from end to end… (...