Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain,
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number P02783.031
Collection Photograph
Object types
  • Black & white;
  • Portrait;
Physical description
  • Black & white;
  • Portrait;


Vic. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VFX38812 Matron Olive Dorothy (Dorothy) Paschke, 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. Matron Paschke, aged 36, was one of twelve nurses who were lost at sea. She was washed out to sea on a raft along with Sister's Trenery, McDonald, Dorsch, Clarke and Ennis. They were never seen again. She was the daughter of Ottiline Paschke of Stanwell, Vic. (Photograph copied from original photograph attached to attestation form, lent by Central Army Records Office.)