HMS Sultan Singapore 1941 and 1942

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by Gilbert John Bowman, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    D/JX 126466 is his Official Number where D represents his Port Division as Devonport. Other common ones are C for Chatham, P for Portsmouth and L for Lee-on-Solent (Fleet Air Arm). JX indicates he belongs to the Seaman or Communications Branch.
    HMS Prince of Wales crew - S T U

    Edited to add:
    Going back over this thread I see TD has A/PO Tucker listed at Post 12 with info from RN Casualty Lists as ex-HMS Repulse. This is incorrect.
    CWGC lists him as dying 14 Feb 42 (one day before Singapore surrendered).
    HMS Sultan was the Singapore Naval Base and was where many of the survivors of the sinking of the Prince of Wales and Repulse were taken.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  2. John Webb

    John Webb New Member

    Dear Tim

    Thank you so much for this really helpful information.

    Is there any information about whether bodies were repatriated or whether they wereburied in Singapore.

    Any idea if there is a memorial either in UK or elsewhere to those who died following the sinking of the Prince of Wales?

    Best Wishes

  3. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Short answer is that bodies were not repatriated. If the body was recovered they would now be buried at Kranji War Cemetery. However many bodies were not recovered. These are commemorated in the UK on the relevant Port Division War Memorial. Full details are on the CWGC web site.
    However your Great Uncle is commemorated on the Plymouth Navy War Memorial, which would suggest to me that he did not die in Singapore. My guess, and it's only a guess, going on the CWGC date of death of 14 Feb 42 is that he was evacuated from Singapore on a ship which was then sunk. Singapore was in chaos at this time and passenger lists were the last thing on anyone's mind. You could ask CWGC what information they are basing his date of death on.
    Other members on this Forum may have photos of the Plymouth War Memorial - you need Panel 63 Column 3.
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  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  6. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Findagrave is rather misleading. Not buried or cremated in Plymouth, just he's on the memorial.
    TD - Post 25. You've jumped from Plymouth to Portsmouth!!
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  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Arrrr - how right you are - I was hoping to find a better image of this

    But missed it by a mile

    Thanks for keepig me on the straight and narrow
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  8. John Webb

    John Webb New Member

    Thanks guys. You are amazing.
    I feel a trip to Plymouth is in Order now.

    I will try and post some High Quality imags when I go there.

    All the best.

  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    :lol: just make sure you type Plymouth into the sat nav unlike me who typed Portsmouth :lol:

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  10. Wallace2

    Wallace2 Member

    I am curious to know if personnel that were listed MPK ever had that status updated? One entry intrigues me - BURKE, Edward, Ordinary Seaman, RNVR, D/MD/X 3139, MPK - How can I find out if his death was confirmed. where he was born etc? He may be my missing link in my search

    daisy1942, Jul 24, 2017

    Not sure if this might help. His service number indicates that he was a pre war member of the RNVR based in HMS Eaglet in Liverpool . The MD stands for Mersey Division. As such he would be required to attend drill nights during the week so he would have to live in travelling distance of HMS Eaglet.
    daisy1942 likes this.
  11. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    Hi Wallace2

    Thanks for the information and reminding me of the website. I had forgotten about this!

    My search for Dad (Dominic Michael Stringer) has taken some weird turns since I last posted here. It now appears that his birth name was Dominic CUNNINGHAM Casey (not Michael as previously posted), born in Glasgow April 1922. Further, it transpires that he was probably in Singapore as a gunner in the Royal Artillery! However, neither of these names appear in RA records. My curiosity in the name Burke was off target too. It is possible that he signed up in the RA under a cousin's surname which was Burt.
    Dad was lucky enough to escape successfully on board a tiny water boat called Daisy. I have records of Daisy's escape and there is a partial list of passengers:
    Captain Walmsley, P.B. Purvis, J.G. Stewart, W. McArthur, John Dyce [Medical Hall], Campbell [of Gatty & Bateman], Gerald Manning McMahon & one P.O. and five or six naval ratings [not named]. Most of those named were Scottish by birth.
    When Daisy arrived at Djambi River, these men were taken upstream on board a naval patrol boat. We managed to contact the commander of that vessel and showed him photos of Dad. He confirmed Dad had been on board. We cannot trace Dad any further as he disappeared for 10 months before resurfacing in the West Indies!
    We have still not traced how/when he got to Singapore or even if he was there with the RA!
    We are still hunting!
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  12. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Further to the post on Stoker William Ball giving his place of death as Banka Strait on 16th Feb 1942.

    When looking at HMS Vyner Brooke (formerly Sarawk Royal Yacht SS Vyner Brooke), it seems she was partly crewed by some of the survivors of HMS Repulse and HMS Price of Wales, when she sank on 14th February 1942 in Banka Strait, with some survivors.

    SS Vyner Brooke - Wikipedia

    Vyner Brooke sinking, Bangka Strait 1942
  13. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Your dad may have been a gunner on a merchant ship.
    I'm not sure if Vyner Brooke was temporarily HMS, she was still commanded by her peacetime Master, Captain R E Borton, with Chief Officer a Mr Sedgeman, They may have had acting temporary rank in the RNR. As you say, was part crewed by ratings and POs from HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales.
    There are many tragic stories from that evacuation, and this is one of them:

    The third ship that had been hastily pressed into naval service was the Sarawak Steamship’s VYNER BROOKE, still commanded by her peacetime Master Captain R. E. 'Tubby' Borton. The VYNER BROOKE also sailed on ‘Black Friday’ 13 February, with 200 aboard, mainly civilians including sixty-five Australian nurses. The ship had insufficient food and water, but the Australian nurses shared what they had. While heading for the Banka Strait the vessel was attacked and three of the lifeboats were holed.

    One of the nurses, Jessie Blanche, (Blanchie) recalled that the Captain was good. He zigzagged. They came over and bombed us, and missed… They came back and it is said that they dropped 27 bombs. And eventually one hit us. Right down the funnel. The boys down in the engine room were very badly burned. We were given orders to abandon ship.

    Another bomb hit the bridge and the third hit the after part, injuring scores of civilians. The ship sank in 15 minutes, capsizing towards the survivors. More were lost when the enemy pilots strafed those in the water. With the remaining lifeboat overcrowded, many survivors, including the nurses, had to stay in the water hanging on the side of the boat. They were guided towards Muntok beach by a fire lit by earlier survivors, who included Matron Drummond.

    Her colleague Matron Paschke, who was on one of the rafts, was presumed lost at sea, as were eleven of the Sisters.

    Captain Burton[ii] and others were swept in a different direction and were captured. While in the water, Sister Jenny Greer was heard singing “We're off to see the Wizard.”[iii] Some of the survivors were reported to have been in the water for several days. In all, twenty-two Australian nurses, plus women and children, ship’s crew, naval ratings and about forty British soldiers – some badly wounded – gathered together on the beach.

    Mr Sedgeman, the Chief Officer of the VYNER BROOKE, and five ratings from the PRINCE OF WALES, went to a nearby kampong[iv] to find food, but the villagers feared the Japanese and would not help. Then Mr Sedgemen and two Royal Naval ratings went further along the beach to contact the Japanese, so that the party could give themselves up. Matron Drummond decided that the civilian women and children should go with them, they were taken prisoner. The others sat on the beach and waited for Sedgeman's return. He returned with a Japanese officer and his troops. The Japanese separated the men from the women and then marched the men along the beach out of sight. They were lined up, facing out to sea and were machine-gunned and then bayoneted. Three who had swum out to sea were machine-gunned; only a naval stoker, Ernest Lloyd, survived, he was badly injured.

    Vivian (Vivien?) Bullwinkel wrote “The Japanese who had gone with the men came back wiping their bayonets. We just looked at each other. We didn’t have any emotion about it. I think by this time we’d had shock added to everything else. The Japanese came and stood in front of us and indicated that we should go into the sea. And we walked into the sea with our backs to them. We knew what was going to happen to us.... we didn’t talk among ourselves. It was quite silent. We were drained of emotion. There were no tears. …..the force of the bullet, together with the waves, knocked me off my feet.” Only Vivian survived.[v] An elderly civilian lady died with the nurses, her husband had been shot with the other men.

    Jessie Blanch (Blanchie)

    [ii] After the war Captain Borton of the VYNER BROOKE was made an MBE; as were Captain C E Cleaver of the LARUT, Captain A B Durrant of the KINTE and Captain W Lutkin of the DARVEL.

    [iii]There is a picture of Sisters Greer and Jeffrey in Picture Australia, showing them in hospital in 1945

    [iv] Malay village

    [v] When she was brought into the 'tinwinnings' at Banka, Vivian was “unconscious and in a terrible mess from sun and sea exposure. Life was hardly there. Her chances of survival were very slim. Because of the sun, her mouth was completely closed by blisters and eventually the doctors fed her through a small opening at the corner of her mouth by means of a small glass dropper.” Mr S.A. Anderson, Ritchie & Bisset. Dr B Angell, who was a friend of Vivian Bullwinkel, says that this account is totally incorrect. After the war Vivian Bullwinkel went on to have a distinguished career in the Australian Nursing Service.
  14. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    Hi Roy,

    Very long time no speak! I hope you are well.
    I am not too sure what you mean by the above quote. I am fairly sure Dad had nothing to do with HMS Vyner Brooke as he escaped on the water boat Daisy
  15. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Hi Daisy,
    All well and hope you are too.
    Only the first line was for you, the rest is for Travers1940.
    daisy1942 likes this.
  16. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    Hi Roy,
    Lol I get it now! 2019 Has been something of a whirlwind year. I had a major breakthrough in January and it appears that Dad's birth name was Dominic Cunningham Casey and my husband has a half sister! I am still no closer to finding out exactly how Dominic got to Singapore though nor how he got to the West Indies.
    Still having fun searching!
  17. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Daisy - please concentrate on 1 thread ata time, many threads does not hwlp the situation, and I have asked you to give details of your husband so we can work backwards but it seems I am being ignored

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  18. daisy1942

    daisy1942 Junior Member

    Hi Tricky,
    my apologies for missing your reply and the long delay in replying -Mum died.

    I can appreciate your comment "concentrate on 1 thread ata time," however that has proved to be impossible. When I first started this search I knew so little! I knew Dad had been at Singapore, that he had a Glaswegian accent and escaped on board Daisy - that was all! Also, I had two dates and places of birth. Consequently it has been necessary to try to enlarge on each minute piece of information in turn. Whilst it has been frustrating for all those who have expressed an interest and tried to help me, all the help has been very much appreciated and i continue to appreciate any and all suggestions.
  19. Linda Connolly

    Linda Connolly New Member

    Hi There
    My Name is Linda Connolly I am looking for my grandfather lost brother Thomas James Evans My grandfather and his parents was not told a lot what happened to him I am trying to find out if he was taken as a prisoner of war or die they had no body to bury
  20. Linda Connolly

    Linda Connolly New Member

    THOMAS JOHN EVAN S PICTURE who went missing in action we were told by MOD but we are not too sure

    Attached Files:

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