• Simon Biggs

Rescue of Australian Nurses


Unit/ Formation: Royal Marines Location: Singkep Islands Period/ Conflict: World War II Year: 1942 Date/s: February

During the general evacuation of Singapore a party including Argyll Marines left in a motor-launch commanded by a lieutenant, R.N.V.R.

They reached the Dutch island of Singkep, where they found 800 soldiers and seamen. Nearby was another island where there was a number of Australian nurses and white women refugees. The Japanese were systematically bombing it and sending boats to capture the women.

Some of the marines at Singkep joined a party of volunteers in a motor-launch towing flat-bottomed boats, brought off the women who were alive, and buried the dead.

They finally left Singkep in a motor-boat with 300 on board including two new born babies, towing another, which sank.

A flat bottomed Tongkang; similar to one provided by 'Dutchy' for tge survivors to escape

Organised by the local Dutch Administrator in the small settlement of Dabo on Singkep, known as 'Dutchy', who then set up an escape pipeline for all those that passed through his island. The survivors. were taken aboard the first boat, and all reached Padang, in Sumatra, whence they, too, were sent to Colombo.

Information extracted from Judy: A Dog in a Million by Damien Lewis (Amazon)


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