Vic. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VFX61329 Sister Rosetta Joan Wight, 2/13th Australian General Hospital, Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS). She was one of sixty five Australian ...

Collection ID P02783.017
Collection type Photograph
Title Vic. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VFX61329 Sister Rosetta Joan Wight, 2/13th Australian General Hospital, Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS). She was one of sixty five Australian ...
Object type Black & white
Copyright Copyright expired - public domain

Vic. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VFX61329 Sister Rosetta Joan Wight, 2/13th 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 on board, twelve were lost as sea and thirty two survived the sinking and were captured as Prisoners of War (POWs) of which eight later died during captivity. Sister Wight, aged 33, was one of the remaining twenty two nurses who 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 Wight was the daughter of Mr L. R. Wight of Fish Creek, Vic. (Photograph copied from original photograph attached to attestation form, lent by Central Army Records Office.)

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