Pauline Blanche HEMPSTED

HEMPSTED, Pauline Blanche

Service Numbers: QFX22714, QX22714 (Q70246), QFX22714
Enlisted: 27 April 1941, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 2nd/13th Australian General Hospital
Born: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 9 September 1908
Home Town: Graceville, Brisbane, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Nurse
Died: Illness whilst a Prisoner of the Japanese , Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies, 19 March 1945, aged 36 years
Cemetery: Jakarta War Cemetery, Indonesia
5. G. 5,
Memorials: Augusta Australian Army Nursing Sisters Monument, Australian Military Nurses Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Bicton Vyner Brooke Tragedy Memorial, W.A., Kapunda Dutton Park Memorial Gardens Nurses Plaques
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World War 2 Service

27 Apr 1941: Involvement QFX22714, QX22714 (Q70246)
27 Apr 1941: Involvement Captain, QFX22714, QX22714 (Q70246)
27 Apr 1941: Enlisted Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Nursing Sister, QFX22714, QX22714 (Q70246), Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Brisbane, Queensland
27 Apr 1941: Enlisted QFX22714
12 Feb 1942: Embarked Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Captain, QFX22714, QX22714 (Q70246), 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
19 Mar 1945: Involvement Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Captain, QFX22714, QX22714 (Q70246), 2nd/13th Australian General Hospital, Prisoners of War


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.


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Biography contributed by Adrian Jones

Daughter of Percy and Bertha Louisa HEMPSTED

Served at 13th Australian General Hospital, Singapore

"HEMPSTED, Pauline Blanche.— In loving memory of Captain Pauline Blanche Hempsted, Australian Army Nursing Service, died prison camp, Muntok, 1945
Her duty nobly done."

"QFX22714 Captain Pauline Blanche (Blanche) Hempsted, 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 dyas 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, twelve were lost at sea, twenty two 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 Hempsted was one of the remaining thirty two nurses who also survived the sinking and were captured as POWs, eight of which later died in captivity. Sister Hempsted died of illness on 19 March 1945 in Sumatra..." - SOURCE (