Lorna Florence FAIRWEATHER

FAIRWEATHER, Lorna Florence

Service Number: SX13431
Enlisted: 11 October 1940, Woodside, South Australia
Last Rank: Staff Nurse
Last Unit: 2nd/13th Australian General Hospital
Born: Stirling West, South Australia, Australia, 31 January 1913
Home Town: Broadview, Port Adelaide Enfield, South Australia
Schooling: Nailsworth Primary School, Adelaide High School
Occupation: Nurse
Died: Murdered by Japanese troops in the Bangka Island massacre, Radji Beach, Bangka Island, Netherlands East Indies, 16 February 1942, aged 29 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Official Commemoration - Memorial Location: Column 141, Singapore Memorial (within Kranji War Cemetery).
Memorials: Adelaide Royal Adelaide Hospital Chapel Roll of Honour, Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Augusta Australian Army Nursing Sisters Monument, Australian Military Nurses Memorial, Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Bicton Vyner Brooke Tragedy Memorial, W.A., Daw Park Repatriation Hospital WW2 Women of the Armed Forces Who Died HR, Kapunda Dutton Park Memorial Gardens Nurses Plaques, Launceston Banka Island Massacre, Singapore Memorial Kranji War Cemetery
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World War 2 Service

11 Oct 1940: Enlisted Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Staff Nurse, SX13431, 2nd/13th Australian General Hospital, Woodside, South Australia
2 Jul 1941: Involvement Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Staff Nurse, SX13431, 2nd/13th Australian General Hospital
2 Jul 1941: Enlisted SX13431, General Hospitals - WW2
12 Feb 1942: Embarked Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Staff Nurse, SX13431, 2nd/13th Australian General Hospital, Embarked Ship - Date and Place of Departure: SS Vyner Brooke, 12/02/1942, Singapore, (with 65 other nurses, and civilians); to Japanese Aircraft Attack - sinking disaster - SS Vyner Brooke - Date and Place: 14/02/1942, Bangka Strait (by Bangka Island); (AWM) The Sinking of the SS Vyner Brooke.
15 Feb 1942: Imprisoned Malaya/Singapore


Emotional Welcome As Gallant Women Return

Fremantle, Western Australia; The Australian Women's Weekly

Saturday; 3 November 1945, Page 19.


BY: Josephine O'Neill

No legendary figures, but ordinary women, you, who died

Facing the water, last glance each to each

Along the beach, leaving your bodies to the accustomed surf

Your hearts to home

No legendary figures, but ordinary women, you, who lived

Holding the spirit, through the camps slow slime

Unsoiled by time ...

Bringing your laughter out of degraded toil

As a gift to home

As ordinary women, by your dying you fortify the mind

As ordinary women, by your living you honor all mankind.

TROVE: http://nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/55465571

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Biography contributed by Daniel Bishop

Lorna Florence FAIRWEATHER was born on 31st January, 1913 in South Australia

Her parents were Percival Sydney Howard FAIRWEATHER and Florence Annie JOHNSON, of Broadview, City of Prospect, South Australia.


"...SFX13431 Sister Lorna Florence Fairweather, 2/13th 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 on board, twelve were lost as sea and thirty two survived the sinking and were captured as Prisoners of War (POWs) of which eight later died during captivity. Sister Fairweather, aged 30, was one of the remaining twenty two nurses who 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. Sister Fairweather was the daughter of Mr P. S. Fairweather of Broadview, SA..." - SOURCE (www.awm.gov.au)


Biography contributed by Schools Program

Lorna Florence Fairweather was born at Stirling West on 31 January 1913. As an adult, she worked as a nurse at the Somerton Crippled Children's Home in Somerton Park, and lived with her parents in Broadview, both suburbs of Adelaide. Lorna was a practising Methodist. She was called up for duty in the Australian Army Nursing Service on 2 July 1941 at Woodside.

On 28 August 1941 she left Adelaide for Melbourne and on 2 September embarked with the 13th Australian General Hospital on board the Wanganella, bound for Singapore. The 13th AGH arrived there on 16 September and set up at St Patrick's School in the island's south west. Twice between October and December Lorna was temporarily detached for duty with the 10th AGH at Malacca, but on 13 December 1941 she returned to the 13th AGH. At that time the hospital was at Tampoi but it returned to St Patrick's School on Singapore in late January 1942.

On 12 February 1942 Lenore Fairweather left Singapore on the Vyner Brooke and, after its sinking, made it to Bangka Island where she was executed by the Japanese on 16 February.