Olive Dorothy PASCHKE RRC


PASCHKE, Olive Dorothy

Service Numbers: VX38812, VFX38812
Enlisted: 3 September 1940
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: 10 Australian General Hospital
Born: Dimboola, Victoria, Australia, 19 July 1905
Home Town: Dimboola, Hindmarsh, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Nurse
Died: Killed in Action, Banka Island, 14 February 1942, aged 36 years
Cemetery: Singapore Memorial (Kranji War Cemetery)
No known grave - At sea; (CWGC) Official Commemoration - Memorial Location: Column 139.
Memorials: Australian Army Nursing Sisters Monument, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Kranji Singapore Memorial, Vyner Brooke Tragedy Memorial, W.A.
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1940: Enlisted Australian Army Nursing Service, Matron, SN VX38812, 10 Australian General Hospital
1 Jan 1942: Honoured Royal Red Cross (1st Class)
12 Feb 1942: Embarked Australian Army Nursing Service, Matron, SN VFX38812, 10 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, Banka Strait (by Banka Island); (AWM) The Sinking of the SS Vyner Brooke.
14 Feb 1942: Involvement Australian Army Nursing Service, Major, SN VFX38812, 10 Australian General Hospital , Malaya/Singapore

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Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

Matron Olive Paschke was one of sixty five Australian nurses and over 250 civilian men, women and children evacuated on the SS 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.  Of the others Matron Paschke was one of twelve nurses who were lost at sea. She was washed out to sea on a raft along with  Sisters Clarke, Trennery, McDonald, Dorsch and Ennis. They were never seen again.  Those who made it to shore on Banka Island were taken Prisoner of War (POW) of whom 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.  (www.awm.gov.au)