The Vyner Brooke Tragedy (80 Year Anniversary)

The broken hull of the Vyner Brooke is laying in a state of rusted decay in shallow water by the shoreline.

On the 12th of February, 1942, the coastal steamer named the Vyner Brooke departed from Singapore, headed to Sumatra, with 65 nurses from the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) aboard amongst it’s 181 passengers. The decision was hastily made on February 6th to evacuate, after it became clear that Japanese invasion of Singapore was imminent.

Gladys Boon

A crowd of nurses and soldiers are outside, shifting luggage or overlooking the activity.

Gladys Boon was trained as a nurse at Orange Hospital, having graduated with her nursing certificate in 1915. However, she soon resigned from her position here to work as a nurse at a military hospital in Sydney in December 1916, and eventually enrolled with the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) in mid-1917.