Millicent Hulda Maria (Millie) DORSCH


DORSCH, Millicent Hulda Maria

Service Number: SFX10597
Enlisted: 29 November 1940, Enlisted at Keswick South Australia
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: Australian Army Nursing Service
Born: Brighton, South Australia, Australia, 25 February 1912
Home Town: Hove, Holdfast Bay, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Nurse
Died: Lost at Sea - Presumed Drowning (SS Vyner Brooke), Banka Island, 14 February 1942, aged 29 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
At sea; (CWGC) Official Commemoration - Memorial Location: Column 140, 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, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital Memorial Rose Garden, Minlaton District Council Honour Board, Singapore Memorial Kranji War Cemetery, Vyner Brooke Tragedy Memorial, W.A.
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement SN SFX10597
29 Nov 1940: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Lieutenant Colonel, SN SFX10597, 2nd/4th Casualty Clearing Station, Malaya/Singapore
29 Nov 1940: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, SN SFX10597, Australian Army Nursing Service, Adelaide, South Australia
29 Nov 1940: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, Lieutenant, SN SFX10597, Enlisted at Keswick South Australia
2 Feb 1941: Embarked 2nd AIF WW 2, Lieutenant, SN SFX10597, Embarked the Queen Mary for Singapore
12 Feb 1942: Embarked Australian Army Nursing Service, Lieutenant, SN SFX10597, Australian Army Nursing Service, Evacuated - Embarked Ship: SS Vyner Brooke (with 65 other nurses, and 116 civilians) Date and Place of Departure: 12/02/1942, Singapore; to Banka Strait (by Banka Island) Attacked by Japanese Aircraft; Disaster - Sinking of SS Vyner Brooke - Date: 14/02/1942; (AWM) Sinking of the SS Vyner Brooke.
15 Feb 1942: Imprisoned Malaya/Singapore
Date unknown: Involvement


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.



Lost at Sea

Sister Millicent Dorsch of the 2nd 4th Casualty Clearing Station was lost at sea when the evacuation ship SS Vyner Brook was sunk by Japanese bombers. Sister Dorsch's body was never recovered.

Showing 2 of 2 stories

Biography contributed by John Edwards

"...SFX10597 Sister Millicent Heulda (Millie) Dorsch, 2/4th Casualty Clearing Station, 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. Sister Dorsch, aged 30, was one of twelve nurses who were lost at sea. She was washed out to sea on a raft along with Matron Paschke and Sister's Trenery, McDonald, Clarke and Ennis. They were never seen again. She was the daughter of Adolph Dorsch of Hove, SA." - SOURCE (


Biography contributed by Carol Foster

Daughter of Adolph John Walter Dorsch and Elsie Victoria (nee Downing) Dorsch of 137 Brighton Road, Hove SA; sister of Albert Walter Dorsch who served in the RAN until 1946 and Charles Ernest Dorsch who served in the RAN until 1951

Medals: 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal