Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of NFX70938 Sister Mary Dorothea Clarke, 2/10th ...

Accession Number P02783.011
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white, Portrait
Physical description Black & white, Portrait
Place made Australia: New South Wales
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of NFX70938 Sister Mary Dorothea Clarke, 2/10th Australian General Hospital, Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS). She was one of sixty five Australian nurses and over 250 civilian men, women and children evacuated on the Vyner Brooke from Singapore three days before the fall of Malaya. The Vyner Brooke was bombed by Japanese aircraft and sunk in Banka Strait on 14 February 1942. Of the sixty five nurses, thirty two survived the sinking and were taken Prisoner of War (POW) of which eight later died in captivity, another twenty two also survived the sinking and were washed ashore on Radji Beach, Banka Island, where they surrendered to the Japanese along with twenty five British soldiers. On 16 February 1942 the group was massacred, the soldiers were bayoneted and the nurses were ordered to march into the sea where they were shot. Only Sister Vivian Bullwinkel and a British soldier survived the massacre. Both were taken POW, but only Sister Bullwinkel survived the war. Sister Clarke, aged 30, was one of twelve nurses who were lost at sea. She was washed out to sea on a raft along with Matron Paschke and Sister's Trenery, McDonald, Dorsch and Ennis. They were never seen again. She was the daughter of Percival Henry and Flora Clarke of Rylstone, NSW. (Photograph copied from original photograph attached to attestation form, lent by Central Army Records Office.)

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