Vic. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VFX48842 Lieutenant Irene Ada (Rene) Singleton, 2/10th Australian General Hospital, Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS). She was one of sixty ...

Collection ID P02783.026
Collection type Photograph
Title Vic. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VFX48842 Lieutenant Irene Ada (Rene) Singleton, 2/10th Australian General Hospital, Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS). She was one of sixty ...
Object type Black & white
Copyright Copyright expired - public domain

Vic. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VFX48842 Lieutenant Irene Ada (Rene) Singleton, 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 dyas 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, twelve were lost at sea, twenty two 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 Singleton was one of the remaining thirty two nurses who also survived the sinking and were captured as POWs, eight of which later died in captivity. Sister Singleton, aged 33, died of illness on 20 February 1945 in Sumatra. She was the daughter of Robert Singleton of Victoria. (Photograph copied from original photograph attached to attestation form, lent by Central Army Records Office.)

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