The South African
Military History Society
Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging
Published on the Website of the South African Military History Society
in the interest of research into military history
[Version 3.1; May 2013] Copyright Michael Pether 2013.
The SS. Rooseboom (in some records shown as the Rosenboom) was a Dutch steam ship of 1035 tons, built in 1926 by Rijkee & Co., Rotterdam and was owned by the KPM (translates to Royal Packet Navigation Co.) shipping line in 1942.
- Sunk by Japanese submarine number I - 159 on 1st March 1942.
The Captain on its last voyage was Captain M.C.A. Boon of the KPM line who had been promoted to the rank of Captain in 1938.
At the outbreak of war the ship was usually on the coastal run between Sumatra and Java. In February 1942 she was en route from Batavia (now called Jogjakarta), the capital of Java, to Ceylon when she was instructed to pick up evacuees in the port of Padang in Western Sumatra.
According to the site 'mercantilemarine.org', the ... KPM ship the SS. Rooseboom left the heavily damaged port of Tanjong Priok (Batavia) on the 22nd February 1942 - this date is also confirmed in the private papers of Sir Gordon Whitteridge [IWM 99/50/1].
The website states that "...her ultimate destination was Bombay via Colombo, but first she had to call at Emmahaven (the port of the town of Padang on the west coast of Sumatra) to pick up a large number of military and civilian refugees ... no-one knows exactly how many refugees were crammed on to that little ship but it was probably over 500...the 'Rooseboom' left Emmahaven on 27th February... with a number of women and children on board who had escaped from Singapore in the weeks prior to the Surrender...".
In a document in the UK Archives (IMG 4924A in the researcher's files) GOC. Ceylon has stated, significantly in the context of the later sinking of the ship, that "... she was loaded with RAF bombs...".
In his private papers Sir Gordon Whitteridge, whose family were on board, records that the two 'Malay' sailors, picked up in the Indian Ocean after the sinking by the "SS. Palopo" provided a 'guesstimated' to the Captain of the "SS. Palopo" that there were about 200 passengers on board, amongst which were three women and children who had embarked at Tanjong Priok (Batavia) and he also records that the War Office later produced a figure of 18 officers and 227 Other Ranks (ORs) as being on board to which must be added civilians and crew - making a probable total of 270.
This number is somewhat confirmed in a teleprinter message (WO 361/164) dated 23.3.42 from C.O.C. Ceylon to "PROELICAS LIVERPOOL" (see below in this narrative under the section "Who were actually on the SS. Rooseboom" for full details of numbers and some identities).
The ship appears to have arrived from Batavia on either the 25th or 26th February and left quickly on 26th or 27th February 1942 (depending on the source used for this date) from the port of Emmahaven at Padang.
Padang had become the last stop on the official escape route for soldiers and civilians from Singapore and Malaya as the Japanese closed in around Singapore and the Dutch East Indies.
It is this researcher's opinion that an estimated 300 (but at a stretch possibly as high a number as 400 - 500) servicemen, civilian men and women and a few children were actually on board the ship when it left Padang. It was torpedoed several days later in the Indian Ocean with only six survivors ever reaching land - including a Corporal Walter Gibson, Doris Lim and four Malay or Javanese crewmen.
This left a legacy of pain for hundreds of families of servicemen and civilians who never knew what happened to their loved ones - most without any knowledge that a member of their family had even actually boarded the ship.This document is primarily an attempt to clarify who was actually on board and more precisely determine what happened, and when, to the SS. Rooseboom.
It is also intended as a respectful memorial to those who lost their lives on the SS. Rooseboom.
A truly harrowing story of the experiences of some 135 people who reached one lifeboat is told in the book "The Boat" (ISBN -10: 981-05-8301-X; first published in 1952 and republished by Monsoon Books Pte Ltd, Singapore in 2007) by the only European survivor, Walter Gibson. Of the 135 on board and clinging around the sides of the lifeboat only Corporal Walter Gibson, a young Chinese woman named Doris Lim and two Javanese crewmen reached land in the Mentawi islands of Sumatra. They had been in the lifeboat for a month and according to Gibson had drifted over one thousand miles. Two other Malay or Javanese crewmen were also rescued from a raft in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
When specifically did these events occur?
Walter Gibson, in his book, stated that the ship was sunk at midnight on 1st March 1942 and had left Padang "... four days previously..."; alternatively, although he does not say in his book when the ship actually left Padang, he states that the torpedo struck the ship at ten minutes before midnight on the "...third evening ..." out of Padang. He says that the ship left at sunset, so by his account the ship appears to have left Padang on the early evening of the 26 February and was sunk on the night of the 28 February - just before the date turned over to the 1st of March!
In his official statement to British military authorities in 1946 Gibson signed a statement that the ship was "... proceeding from Padang in Sumatra west to Colombo on 27th February, 1942 ..."and "...the boat was sunk at 23.50 hours on March 1st 1942...".
Richard Gough in his book "Escape from Singapore" states that the ship left Padang on the evening of 27th February and was sunk four days later.
There are a couple of dates mentioned in the UK archived documents - firstly (image 4953 in researchers files) "...vessel left Padang bound for Colombo on 26th February at 1730 (local time)..." and also a statement (image 4982 in researchers' files) dated 20 June 1943 by Lt. Col Bristow, REME., "...I was responsible to O.C. British Troops in PADANG for embarkation of personnel at EMMAHAVEN on 26 Feb. 43[sic]. Embarkation on ROSENBLOOM [sic] took place in daylight at about 1700 hours when the quay was clear of other shipping..."
So the question of dates is debatable but the departure date of 26th February 1942 seems most likely. It is confirmed in the private papers of Sir Gordon Whitteridge [IWM 99/50/1] wherein he states that a Mrs. Cruikshank left on another ship from Padang on the same day.
Who were actually on board the SS. Rooseboom?
The relatively small town of Padang had become almost overrun by services and civilians by the time [according to his diary record] one Rolla Edwardes-Ker, Singapore Royal Artillery (Volunteers) arrived in the town at around the same time that the Rooseboom arrived in port. He makes some interesting points about the number of men who had arrived in town and some estimates (which appear to be incorrect) of the number of passengers on ships, he says:
"... there were two ships at the docks ready to embark the British and Australian contingent in Padang numbering 1018 military personnel and some 1200 civilians. The larger ship , the Rosenboom(sic) was supposed to take some 2000 military and civilians and make for Ceylon, the smaller ship , the Domayer van twist (sic) of some 500 tons, which was to take Australian and navy personnel and members of the Volunteer forces was to make for Java and, if necessary, for Australia after refuelling in Java...
"... I and the rest of the party were originally supposed to be going on the Rosenboom (sic) but Colonel Broadbent asked[us] to come on the Domayer Van twist (sic). The ship was torpedoed not far from Ceylon...
". The Rosenboom sailed after us with about 2300 on board..." [Researcher's note: this seems to be an extraordinary number of people which has to be seriously discounted!] ...we sailed at 04.00 hrs on the morning of 26th February...".
So by his statement the SS. Rooseboom must have left on the 26 February 1942.
Around the same time John Wagstaff, Signal Btn, FMSVF, arrived on the 25 February 1942 and notes:
"... in the afternoon we heard that a ship had arrived and would be taking people that night. This was good news although there was no hope of us being on it ... [then on the 26 February he continues] the staff at headquarters [had] pushed off on the ship that sailed during the night and the new OIC, a Colonel Wolfe-Murray, was fortunately a different calibre from his predecessors. One of his first acts was to call for fresh nominal rolls of all persons awaiting evacuation in Padang ... he then arranged that priority would be given according to date of arrival in Padang ... Australians would be sent on ships bound for Java or Australia and British troops and civilians on ships bound for Ceylon or India...
" [Then on 27 February 1942] "...in the afternoon we heard that another ship had arrived, this was the "Rooseboom" and moreover it would be sailing for Ceylon... when later on the warning order for this ship was posted the list included all except two of the British ORs who had escaped Singapore in the tongkang with us . The list also included a few 'high priorities' who had just arrived in Padang and but for these some of us might have been on the list. Among the priority passengers for the ship that night were Group Captain Nunn and his wife... it is tragic that the ship never reached Ceylon...".
This places the departure of the ship on the 27 February.
Of relevance to efforts to ascertain who was actually on this ship is that in his story Wagstaff refers to the fact that of the approximately nineteen British "...gunner and sappers from Pulau Brani..." who joined them soon after their escape from Singapore , all - except the Lieutenant and Warrant Officer (who appear to have embarked on the Dumayer Van Twist from Padang) and two other ORs who remained at Padang with Wagstaff until boarding the 'SS. Palima with he and his party of Volunteers - the "...gunners and sappers..." left on the SS. Rooseboom.
In his book "Escape from Singapore" (Mandarin, 1987, rev 1984) Richard Gough has some rare reports on those boarding the Rooseboom in Padang, recorded through the eyes of Colonel Warren who had been instrumental in establishing the escape route from Singapore to Padang. Colonel Warren had arrived in Padang to find it almost deserted apart from local residents going about their normal activities. He found that Brigadier Paris, Commander of the 11th Division was the senior British Officer in the town - he had taken over when Colonel Broadbent and his Australians had left for Java. Brigadier Paris "...was also about to leave for Colombo with 600 troops and civilians..." on board the SS. Rooseboom.
Warren apparently went to the port at Emmahaven and climbed the ship's gangway to meet Brigadier Paris ... he noticed that the Argylls had taken up firing points all over the ship, determined to fight off any air attacks with Bren guns and rifles, "... Every bit of deck seemed to be crammed with nurses, servicemen and civilians...". Warren then reported that as they talked "...a lorry drew up on the dockside below packed with nurses, wives, children, soldiers and business men - all in rags and dishevelled...". Amongst that group were Mr. and Mrs Nunn and Warren learned that they had been rescued from Pom Pong island where the SS. Kuala had been sunk. This would answer the question of the fate of a number of the women, children and men who became unaccounted for from the SS. Kuala after its bombing and sinking at Pom Pong island on 14th February 1942 even though they seemed to have survived the sinking of that ship. A somewhat speculative list of people who survived the sinking of the SS. Kuala but for whom no fate is recorded is attached at the end of this document - any information correcting or confirming names on this list would be greatly welcomed by the researcher.
Another record is that of Miss Janet Lim [a Chinese nurse employed at Middle Road Hospital, Singapore at the time of the invasion] who was interviewed after the War on 22nd February 1946 - she was herself a survivor of the evacuation of Singapore [see her book "Sold for Silver"] and had met up with Doris Lim, the lone woman survivor of the sinking of the Rooseboom, when they were both in Japanese occupied Sumatra in 1942 . Janet stated she had been told by Doris that"... the SS Rooseboom ... was carrying several hundred refugees from Singapore, these included Nurses, British and Australian soldiers and Civilians of several nationalities..."
Brigadier Paris had been given permission to escape from Singapore and had done so with a sizeable party of men from the Gordon Highlanders in a launch called Celia. This group stuck together in their escape across Sumatra to Padang with Major Angus MacDonald and Captain Mike Blackwood and for this reason all ended up on the SS. Rooseboom
Survivor Walter Gibson is reported to have told the War Office (CAS. P. W.) that "... there were 500 passengers on board, most of whom were soldiers but with some women and children from Singapore who had previously been stranded on Pom Pom(sic) Island ..."
and then in a written statement dated 3.1.46 to The war Office ( CAS P.W.) he stated "...The K.P.M. Rooseboome (sic)" was proceeding ......... with 500 on board (mostly Europeans - British Army - but also a number of P.W.D. officials from Malaya and some civilian women and children also from Malaya.) (The women and children had been previously bombed on a refugee ship ex Singapore).... ".
Lt. Col G. Bristow, REME (the Embarkation Officer at the port of Emmahaven at the time of the departure of the SS. Rooseboom) stated on 20 June 1943 "...I remember clearly that there were 18 cabin berths on ROSENBLOOM [sic] ...I knew by name and had spoken to 7 out of 18 of the cabin passengers during the time when personnel were moving across Sumatra from Singapore...".
In 1944 there is a memo from Staff Captain W. Paterson, CRO containing another statement by Lt. Col. Bristow, REME, dated 3 September 1944 wherein he again restates his memory of events;
"... (a) The SS. Rosebloom [sic] carried 18 Officers travelling in cabins, of which I have accounted for 12. No Officer to my knowledge travelled as deck passengers, except a Capt. MCRORY of Recce Corps.
(b) The Officers travelling on SS Rosebloom[sic] were, I believe all majors and above, and they were nearly all associated with 9 or 11 Divs or Malaya Command.."
"... A nominal roll of all personnel embarking [on the Rooseboom] was handed to H.Q. British Troops at Padang..." (CO 980/141). Confirming the existence of this critical but missing record Major Bristow also stated "... a list of personnel embarking on the ship was handed to HQ. British troops at Padang ...".What happened to this valuable document identifying those 250 - 500 on board is unknown - it might have been handed to an officer leaving on the also ill-fated SS. Ban Ho Guan which left a day or two later, or destroyed by the Commanding Officer responsible for Padang when it became an open city prior to the arrival of the Japanese forces on 17 March 1942.
In a document in the UK Archives (CO980/14) there is a short list of names of senior British officers on the SS. Rooseboom which is headed "List of personnel sailing from Padang on 26 February 1942".
However it has recently been brought to the notice of this researcher that there was a telegram in March 1942 that contained the following information;
[the names and numbers have been indented by the researcher here for ease of understanding]
...There were known to be on board Officers 18 other ranks 227. The following Officers are definitely known to have embarked.
...The following Officers were probably on board:
- Brig. A.C.M. Paris
- Maj. M.C.A. MacDonald A and S.H.
- T/Lt.Col G.A.Palmer R.E.
- Col. R.L.M. Rosenberg R. Signals.
- Lt. Col Acworth Indian Army 11 Ind. Div.
- Capt. Thorpe [here there is a handwritten insert' Name should read Col THORNE se 47A] 2 Cambs.
... There is no record of the names of the other Officers.
- T/Lt. Col. Ives R.A.C.C.
- T/Major Heathcote General List.
- Capt (? MacRory), 18 Div. Recce. Regt.
The following total Other Ranks by units were embarked [Researcher has identified the following number of men]
[this totals the 227 stated in the telegram above].
- Gordons ; 16 
- A. and S.H.; 6 
- Norfolks ; 5
- Loyals; 5
- Independent Coy.; 1
- Cambs; 8
- Leicester ; 6
- Foresters; 1
- 18 Div. Recce. Regt; 15
- Beds and Herts; 1
- H.Q 12 Ind Inf. Bde; 1
- RA; 67 
- RE; 34
- Royal Signals; 30
- RAOC ; 17 
- RASC; 12
- RAMC ????
When was the ship sunk and by whom?
Insofar as the sinking, it is perfectly reasonable if Walter Gibson made an error on the date - the trauma he went through in a lifeboat for 26 days without food or water most of the time and then his incarceration as a POW of the Japanese would have made it hard to remember exactly the sequence by the time he wrote the book in 1952.
He does appear to have been correct about the date the ship was actually sunk being 1st March 1942. In a book titled 'Axis Submarine Success of World War Two' by Jurgen Rohwer (ISBN 1-55750-029-0; published by Greenhill Books, London) it is revealed that the author has obtained information from high ranking Japanese naval officers and amongst hundreds of tabulated entries confirms the following about the sinking of the SS. Rooseboom.
It was sunk by one of the very large class of Japanese submarines ('Sensuikan' class), specifically that numbered I-59 (later redesignated I-159) which had left Penang on 21 February 1942 under the command of a Lt. Yoshimatsu.
Interestingly it is also recorded quite specifically that the I-59 had actually clearly identified the SS. Rooseboom, this could have been either before or after torpedoing - given that it was the middle of the night we must assume that the submarine had been following the ship for at least a day to observe it in daylight to know its identity, or possibly it plucked some unrecorded survivor from the ocean and learned the ship's identity that way?
The I-159 had been patrolling the Netherlands East Indies and the north coast of Australia and had covered the invasion of the Celebes during January 1942 before being despatched to Penang. On its way it torpedoed the Norwegian freighter Eidsvold at Christmas Island and then on 25 January sank the Giang Sen in the Sabang Roads, taking some of her crew prisoner - as was the practice of many Japanese submarine commanders seeking information on naval codes and other information.
After leaving Penang on 21 February 1942 with the intention of "...raiding enemy communications SW of Sumatra..." the next record of the I-159 is the sinking of the Rooseboom. By 12 March 1942 the I-159 had returned directly to Penang.
It is not known whether the submarine had taken anyone prisoner from the Rooseboom (apparently there was a Japanese journalist on board but he made no mention of this occurring) but this possibility must be kept open because the Japanese submarine fleet had a practice of doing so and had established an interrogation prison in Penang for the purpose of extracting information from ships survivors. It had a cruel reputation that was explicitly evidenced at the joint war crimes trial in 1946 (from trial transcript records in the US Archives in Washington and elsewhere) of a very large group of Japanese submarine Commanders and crew, plus Vice Admiral Hisashi Ichioka to whom they reported. Witness testimonies by Masters, Officers and crew of British and Allied ships sunk by Japanese submarines tell a harrowing story of starvation, beatings, torture and executions at the Runnymede Hotel prison in Penang. Most of these Master and Officers had been taken prisoner from the crew of ships where the Japanese submarine had, after torpedoing their ships, spent several hours methodically ramming the lifeboats and rafts and machine gunning survivors in the water. The book "Blood and Bushido" by Bernard Edwards is a very good record of the depths of cruelty and inhumanity reached by Japanese submarine commanders during the War.
According to Japanese records the ship was sunk at 0150hrs on 1st March 1942. Given that Japanese submarines operated on 'Tokyo Time' which is (and would have been in 1942) two hours ahead of 'Padang time', this does explain the exact difference between Gibson's very precise statement of the time of sinking as '2350hrs' and the Japanese, presumably the submarine logbook, source timing of '0150hrs'; this is of course the best part of a day earlier than Gibson's memory of 1150hrs on 1st March.
Where was the ship sunk?
The Japanese map coordinates for the sinking were N 00 degrees/E 87 degrees. In slight contrast British records state the position as thought to have been N 00.15 degrees/ E 86.50, this is recorded in an archived document (researcher's image 4953) that the vessel was "...torpedoed in approximate position 000 degrees 15 minutes N/ 86 degrees 50 minutes E... (based on routing instructions... speed nine and half knots, ETA Colombo 6 March... weather conditions: High seas and strong winds...".
This most likely would have been close to the position at sea where the small ship SS. Palopo which left Padang after the Rooseboom and was also escaping to Colombo, came across an oil slick and picked up either two (or four depending upon the source used) Malay or Javanese seamen squatting on a small raft or box who were the only other survivors of the SS. Rooseboom. In the archived document WO106/2579B a report by Major G.P. Richards, 1st Btn Malay Regiment records how the SS. Palopo left Padang on 7th March 1942 and on 11th March picked up two Javanese sailors who had been floating on a piece of wreckage for '... seven or eight days ...' after being torpedoed at midnight on 2nd or 3rd March. The ship is noted as the SS. Beerbohm (sic) and that it had 250 troops on board and a few civilians, including a woman and two children.
In another document (CO980/217, report no.14, p.452) a Mr. McKay in Australia records "...they were surrounded by much wreckage and many bodies seen: all too decomposed for identification...". As pointed out by Mr. Ted Crawford in his research on this event - after the ship went down the survivors were not very dispersed after even a week, let alone by the morning after; in this context it is interesting that the two Javanese seaman did not comment on seeing the lifeboat which was the subject of Walter Gibson's book "The Boat".
In his research Ted Crawford found the CO 980 141 file on the Rosenboom (36 documents) p.87 in which there is a report (undated) of the two Malay or Javanese sailors' interrogation in Colombo by a Lieut Rendle. The position was said to be 00║15'N 86║50E approximately, about 2/3 of the way to Ceylon -- figures presumably derived from the Palopo. They said that the only lifeboats were destroyed in the explosion and there were no other survivors as far as they knew. They heard no cries for help or saw anyone else in the darkness and rough water. It was pitch-black dark, they were sleeping on deck and thrown into the sea, the boat went down immediately, they had got hold of wreckage and, finally, each separately came across a little kapok raft which they used and in the morning when they saw one another they paddled together. They then lashed the two little rafts together. They had no difficulty getting water for the 7 or 8 days as it rained heavily at least once a day and they managed to collect enough of it in their palms to drink. The interrogator said the Javanese seamen were "good intelligent types", decent men. He says they could see dimly in the night. He says they nearly all died of thirst. It is stated at the end of the interrogation that in the view of the local RN people it sounded as if the ship was not torpedoed but that the boilers exploded.
Sir Gordon Whitteridge, in his private papers lodged with the IWM, visited the same two 'Indonesian Malay stokers' in hospital in Colombo on 17 march in company with the Dutch Consul and was told that the ship was two days out of Padang (28 February) when a terrific explosion occurred at about 11.30pm which caused the ship to list heavily and then sink in about five minutes. Contrary to the Rendle interview they told Sir Gordon that at first there were a large number of people in the sea, but when daylight came they could see nobody. They were unable to help with news of any boats being lowered.
Sir Gordon also took the initiative of tracking down the Dutch captain of the SS. Palopo and his logbook confirmed that the two stokers were in fact Fireman Jattemo and Trimmer Dai who had been found floating on a small raft composed of the two air tanks of a lifeboat tied together with strips of a sarong. Contrary to the above reports, the seamen had actually told the Captain that when the ship was torpedoed (note: no reference to a boiler explosion) the Starboard lifeboats had been immediately destroyed and of the Port lifeboats one became out of order whereas the second one capsized through overloading. They said that upon daylight the next day they could not see any survivors. They had had no food during the nine days that they drifted on their make-shift raft and they only survived because of continual showers of heavy rain which enabled them to drink out of cupped hands.
The reference to the second lifeboat from the Port side may give credence to the story of Walter Gibson which has been criticised by some through the years as fabrication. In the view of this researcher Gibson's account is generally truthful. The facts are that by the time they were picked up by the "SS. Palopo", the Javanese seamen had drifted along with much of the wreckage of the SS. Rooseboom - and, sadly, the remains of many passengers - some 31 nautical miles from the spot where the submarine recorded the sinking.
In a letter dated 1 May 1945 by Gordon Whitteridge to the POW Dept., Foreign Office, he sates "... survivors picked up [by Palopo] at 1 degree S; 92 degrees 50 minutes E shows that the sinking must have taken place some 250 miles off Sumatra..."
The set of coordinates recorded by both the Japanese and the Allies are interesting and suggest that Captain Boon was taking a longer but more cautious sea route to Colombo as opposed to a straight line between the two ports. He appears to have swung (apparently under official routing instructions) quite a distance south in his voyage probably, but unsuccessfully, to avoid Japanese submarines lying in wait on the direct route. The fact that the Palopo came across the oil slick and survivors also suggests that this was a route determined by British authorities, since finding two men on a box in the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean stretches the credibility of coincidence.
Sadly it seems that the Japanese had also worked out the sea route between Padang and Colombo - maybe this was because every ship was taking the same route?
To date this research has identified only some 53 out of the estimated 300 -500 people on board.
If anyone has any other names or information relating to the sinking of the SS. Rooseboom or the people on board, the researcher and author of this document, Michael Pether, 55 Te Pene Road, Maraetai, Auckland, 2018, New Zealand - or email email@example.com - or phone New Zealand 09-5365490 - would be extremely appreciative of receiving such information, would treat it sensitively and would amplify this document appropriately.
"Boat"/ "The Boat" - book authored by Walter Gibson
BPPL - the micro writing list prepared in Changi internment camp
'combinedfleet .com'- website authored by military historians Robert Hackett (USAF Retd.) , USA and Sanders Kingsepp, linguist and researcher of Estonia.
CWGC - website of the Commonwealth war Graves Commission
Crawford, Ted - researcher, UK.
Edwardes-Ker, Rolla - speech he gave in 1985 (Australian War Memorial archives PR87/138)
"Escape from Singapore" - book by Richard Gough
JM/Jonathan Moffatt - author and researcher , see also "Malayan Volunteer Group" website
IWM 99/50/1 - the unpublished private papers of Sir Gordon Whitteridge, KCMG, OBE. Being in particular from the section covering the evacuation of his wife, children and mother-in-law (Mrs Lungley).
Mercantilemarine.org - website
Rohwer, Jurgen - author of "Axis Submarine Successes of World war Two", Greenhill Books, London ; ISBN 1-55750-029-0
Rollofhonour.co.uk - website
Royal Artillery names - from a report by a Major Hebblewaite, R.A., via GOC. Ceylon 3 May 1942 (image 4922A on researchers CD of documents) ; plus a report by Major Heatley, R.A. on 23 March 1942
STA - archives of "The Straits Times" Singapore on the website of the National Library of Singapore
SFPMA - the newspaper" Singapore Free press and Mercantile Advertiser" archives in the National Library of Singapore
Thehendrys.freeserve.co.uk - family genealogical website
United Kingdom National archives files on the War Office (WO) and the Colonial Office(CO)
Wagstaff, John - the story ( unpublished) of John H. Wagstaff an engineer in the P&T, Singapore and in the Signals Battalion of the SSVF " Lucky Seven or 'To Ceylon in Time for Tea' - an Escape Story".
Recreated passenger List:
Interestingly, although there are clearly quite a few people listed on the CWGC website who died in the sinking of the SS. Rooseboom, only four are actually listed under the 'Cemetery' heading of SS. Rooseboom and therefore specifically linked to this terrible event.
The following names of people identified as having been on the SS. Rooseboom have been researched from a great variety of sources and with the help of many people notably Ken Hewitt, Rod Suddaby, and Jonathan Moffatt.
Crew of the SS. Rooseboom:
Malayan Volunteers and Civilians:
- BOON - Captain M.C.A. Boon, of the KPM line, captain of the SS. Rooseboom; he survived the sinking and died in the lifeboat (see account in "The Boat"); according to Walter Gibson (p. 46. "The Boat") he was stabbed to death by one of his own engineering officers after many days in the lifeboat.
- First Officer - all that is known of him is that his name is 'Dirk' (p. 21 "The Boat"); he became hallucinated with lack of water and jumped from the life boat saying that he was going to swim for help (p.41 "The Boat")
- Wife of First officer - '...there was a large, stout, fair-haired woman of thirty or so, dressed in a blouse and skirt and carrying a handbag. She was the wife of Dirk, the Dutch Chief Officer ..." also (p.24) "... from her handbag the Dutch mate's wife produced , of all surprising things, a tablespoon, which was to act as our measure for all the time our water lasted ... she was carrying, too, some thirst quenching tablets which she shared. It was the sort of gesture which gladdened our first hours ..."; sadly about a day after her husband had taken his own life after becoming hallucinated this lady also slipped herself overboard at sunset (p.41 "The Boat")
- Chief engineer - name unknown; he reached the lifeboat.
- Other Engineers - names unknown, at least one had reached the lifeboat.
- Fireman Jattemo - a Malay or Javanese crew member
- Trimmer Dai - a Malay or Javanese crew member
NOTE: On 22.2.46 Janet Lim (author of "Sold For Silver") stated that (image 5074 in researcher's files) she had been told by Doris Lim , the sole woman survivor of the sinking, that two people who survived the sinking and were in the lifeboat were:
- CRAWFORD - 2nd Lt. Donald Torrance Paterson Crawford 2nd Battalion FMSVF /General List /1st Mysore Infantry, Assistant Planter, KMS Rubber Plantations, Kedah, lost at sea 28.2.42 [and wife] ( Jonathan Moffatt);
Second Lieutenant Donald Torrance Paterson Crawford, General List, attd. 1st Btn, Mysore Infantry, Indian State Forces, he died on 28.2.42 (CWGC) which would appear to be an incorrect date in the context of what is known of the sinking - it may be that they were on the Ban Ho Guan ???
- DAVIS - Captain D. J. Davis SRE/JRE Gronow PWD evac 2/42 Padang (John Brown database); also Desmond Grow Davis, Bikam Rubber estate Ltd, Johore, date of Death on or since 26.2.42, presumed to have died at sea while on passage from Sumatra, date of certificate 8.3.47, source various reports, Ref 10000/47 (Colonial Office Register of Deaths, Folio 287  # 1327);
also "... DAVIS D GRONOW CNUB [indecipherable] EST LEFT? ..." ( BPPL);given that the Rooseboom was the only ship which left Padang on 26.2.42 and was sunk this strongly indicates that he was a passenger; finally if a family link can be proven with Roger Davis (below) the fate of Desmond Davis would seem clear
- DAVIS - Roger Owen Wingfield Marchant Davis 'Towkay', b. 1907, educated Worksop College, to Malaya 1928 as Police Probationer, FMS. Wife Elsie & son evacuated to Durban , SA. By 1941 FMS Assistant Commissioner of Police, escaped to Sumatra, one of the '17', lost on Rooseboom (Jonathan Moffatt); " ... DAVIS ROWN POLICE LEFT ..." (BPPL); also mentioned in "The Boat" as Police Assistant Commissioner Roger Davis ( Boat); Asst. Superintendent Roger Owen Wingfield Marchant Davis, Federated Malay States Police, husband of Edith Elsie Davis of Langton, Martravers, Dorsetshire died between 1.3.42 and 31.3.42, awarded the Kings Police Medal for distinguished service 1.1.38 (CWGC); it is possible that Roger Davis was alternatively killed in the sinking of the SS. Ban Ho Guan which left Padang after the Rooseboom bound for Tjilichap in Java.
- DEVONSHIRE - Geoffrey Edward Devonshire, born 1910 at Southend-on-Sea, Essex. Educated Merchant Taylors School, London. To Malay in 1929 as a Police Probationer, FMS and by 1940 had become Assistant Superintendent of Police SS: Singapore. Lost at sea 28.2.42 (JM); it is possible he was on the SS. Ban Ho Guan which was sunk on that date.
- CRAWFORD - Mrs Crawford ( see above)
- FALLOWS - Mrs. Sally Fallows, wife of Mr. A. E. Fallows of the PWD, lost at sea 2.3.42 on the Rooseboom (JM); no record on the CWGC website but Cpl Walter Gibson did testify that there were on board the Rooseboom "...a number of PWD from Malaya and some civilian women and children also from Malaya..."
also "...wives and children of PWD officials..." (SWG).
- GEDDES - Alexander A. 'Eric" Geddes, Asiatic Petroleum Co., Miri & S'pore, wife Jean Sheila, lost on Rooseboom (MVG); this is confirmed in a family genealogy website (thehendrys.freeserve.co.uk - "Children of Alexander Williamson and Jane Glen) where it is recorded that Albert Alexander Geddes had WW1 service in the 14th Battalion, London regiment, Prince of Wales Own Civil service rifles and had married Jean Sheila Geddes, they had moved from the UK to Miri, Sarawak where he had obtained a job as an Office Assistant, later becoming Labour Superintendent at the oil fields and refinery.. it seems that Jean was evacuated in 1941 when the oilfields were closed down (possibly due to the Japanese threat) and Albert later moved to Singapore, later evacuating across Sumatra to Padang where he boarded the Rooseboom. Jean is reported to have died in hospital in London on 29.10.58; "...in recent interviews ... Mr. SHAW of Asiatic Petroleum Co. stated that Mr. GEDDES of Sourabak Oil Fields embarked on the S.S. ROOSEBOOM at BATAVIA late in Feb 1942 prior to its call at PADANG..." Lt. Gen. C in C Land Forces SEA (CO 980/141); in 1946 the Missing Persons Bureau listed him as presumed dead "... Mr Albert Alexander Gedes (sic) who was reported to have been on the Rooseboom ..." (STA 29.5.46)
- KAUFFMAN / KAUFMANN - Bernard Maurice Kaufmann, MA. B. London. Educated City of London School and Christs College, Cambridge University. WW1 service with the Middlesex regiment and Machine Gun Corps. Twice wounded 1918. He worked for the Asiatic Petroleum Company, Singapore during 1020-42 and was Hon. Secretary Oxford & Cambridge society of Malaya and the Treasurer of the Tanglin Club. He lived at 20 Pierce Road, Singapore and his wife Stella had evacuated to Durban, SA. She was living in London in 1951.(JM); "...in a recent interview ...Mr. Shaw of Asiatic Petroleum Co., stated that ...Mr. KAUFMANN of Asiatic Petroleum Co. ...embarked on the S. S. ROOSEBOOM at Batavia late in Feb 1942 prior to its call at PADANG... Lt. Gen. C in C Land Forces SEA (CO 980/141); in 1946 the Missing Persons Bureau, Colonial Office, Singapore listed him as presumed dead "...Mr. Bernard Maurice Kaufmann, reported to have been on the Rooseboom..." (STA 29.5.46); Bernard Maurice Kauffman, aged 46 years, M.A. , Freeman of the City of London, of 20 Pierce Road, Singapore, husband of Stella Kauffman, he died 28.2.42 in sinking of Rooseboom (CWGC)
- LIM - Doris Lim was the nineteen year old niece, originally from cosmopolitan Shanghai, of the well known media person "Newsreel" Wong (Wong Hai Sheng from Shanghai). Doris had escaped from Shanghai to Manila as the Japanese invaded China and then on to Singapore. During the last week before Singapore fell, "Newsreel Wong" again asked journalist Yates McDaniel to help Doris escape (again because she was not a British citizen) - which he did by including her in the party of Press people who boarded the little ship Kung Wo. The ship was bombed and sunk on 13.2.42 (about two miles from Pom Pong Island where the SS. Kuala and the SS Tien Kwang were sunk on 14.2.42) and Doris reached Banka Island in a lifeboat, next reaching the Indragiri River on the east coats of Sumatra in a launch and thence to Padang where the 'Press party' boarded a destroyer which took them to Batavia, where they disembarked on 19.2.42. In Batavia Yates McDaniel was once again asked to intercede and he managed to get her on a passenger ship to Ceylon - the SS. Rooseboom. Doris (claiming to be a British citizen) boarded the SS. Rooseboom on 23.2.42 in Batavia and remained on boarded whilst it embarked further personnel in Padang. After her horrendous experience in the only lifeboat (see the book "The Boat" by Walter Gibson) to survive the sinking and reaching the Mentawi islands with Gibson and the two surviving crewman Doris ended up in Sumatra with Janet Lim (author of "Sold for Silver" ) looking after coolies in a cement factory at Indareong. There they both lived in the Clinic House of the factory. Doris began to receive unwanted attention from a Japanese Officer so she left to work on a relatively basic farm owned by a Chinese man whom she later married. She lived a very primitive existence on this farm and Janet Lim records that Doris and her Chinese husband often quarrelled. He later threatened to kill her and did in fact carry out his threat - with seven stab wounds to the stomach and she died of Peritonitis from these stomach wounds. She was bruited in a rough wooden coffin at Indareong by Janet Lim and a roommate, without any service and only a cross to mark the grave. Thus ended the life of a woman who had shown incredible resourcefulness and a capacity to survive the most extreme events that any human being could endure!
- LUNGLEY - "..It has also been learned that the wife and daughter and two grandchildren of Mr. G. LUNGLEY c/o Messrs FRANCIS PECH & Co Ltd, 5/7 EASTCHEAP LONDON E.C. 3. Were on board ..." Lt. Gen. C in C Land Forces SEA (CO 980/141) - therefore Mrs Lungley was on board; also 'Mrs. Ethel Maude Langley (sic), wife of George Langley (sic), with her daughter Margaret Whitteridge [born 1916] and 2 grandchildren (Jonathan Moffatt); there is no record on the CWGC website of her death; she was the wife of George Lungley, of Francis Peek & Co.,
- NUNN - Reginald Lewis 'Rex' Nunn awarded DSO in 1918, b. 1892 Tenterden, Kent. Educated Brighton College. WW1 service: 2nd Lt. to Major, Royal Engineers. Then waterworks engineer, Trinidad & Tobago 1921. Resident engineer Georgetown, British Guiana. To Malaya in 1930 as Deputy Colonial Engineer SS. and Acting Director of Public works SS and Adviser, Public Works, Malay States 1932-33. Official member of the Legislative Council SS 1935. Director of Civil Aviation, Malay 1935. Director of the PWD SS and Adviser, Public Works, Malay states 1935-42. Group captain RAFMVR, and OC MVAF 1941-42. He organised the evacuation of many PWD personnel from Singapore (JM); and evacuated with his wife on the SS. Kuala which was bombed and sunk at Pom Pong Island; Gp. Capt. Nunn in Public Works 'Certain' ( CO 980/141); mentioned in "The Boat" as having helped his wife through a porthole in the ship after it was torpedoed , but he went down with the ship ( Boat); Major Reginald Lewis Nunn, DSO, Director of Public Works, Singapore died on 1.3.42 in the sinking of the Rooseboom (CWGC)
- NUNN - Mrs. Nunn 'Certain' (CO 980/141); She was a former opera singer and had been Hon. Organiser of the MAS., Malaya (JM): she had evacuated from Singapore with her husband on the SS. Kuala which had been bombed and sunk at Pom Pong island in the Indonesian Archipelago; there is quite some detail in the book "The Boat" of her being pushed by her husband through a porthole of the Rooseboom after it was torpedoed and surfacing to eventually get on the sole life boat (Boat); Mrs. Gertrude Nunn, aged 49 years, of 198 Mt Pleasant Road, Singapore, wife of Major Reginald Lewis Nunn, DSO she died on 9.3.42 after the sinking of the Rooseboom (CWGC)
- ROBERTS - Mrs. Louis [Lalla] Roberts, wife of Mr. F. B. 'Barrel' Roberts, merchant, Nestles Milk Company, Ipoh who was a Changi and Sime Road internee(JM); "...in a recent interview ...Mr. Shaw of Asiatic Petroleum Co. stated that ...Mrs. F. B. ROBERTS wife of F. B. ROBERTS , NestlÚ's Milk Co., Representative at IPOH. ...embarked on the S.S. ROOSEBOOM at BATAVIA late in Feb. 1942 prior to its call at PADANG ... Lt. Gen. C in C land Forces SEA ( CO 980/141); the researcher could find no record on the CWGC website.
- SAVAGE BAILEY -Mrs Kate Edith Savage-Bailey was the widow of Arnold Savage-Bailey, CBE, a well known Singapore solicitor who was killed in an accident in Singapore on 1.4.35: they lived at Tanglin House, Raffles Library Museum; she was the mother of actress Dulcie Gray and had left Singapore on 11.2.42 on the "Kulit" for Sumatra; "...in a recent interview Mr. SHAW of Asiatic petroleum Co. stated that ... Mrs. SAVAGE BAILEY , Librarian of Raffles Library Singapore ...embarked on the S.S. ROOSEBOOM at BATAVIA in late Feb 1942 prior to its call at PADANG... C in C Land Forces SEA (CO 980/141); in 1946 the Missing Persons Bureau, Colonial Office, Singapore listed her as presumed dead "...Mrs. K.E. Savage Bailey of Raffles Library who left Batavia on the Rooseboom which was torpedoed. Mrs. Savage Bailey was reported drowned..." ( STA 29.5.46); Kate Edith Savage-Bailey, aged 55 years, wife of Arnold Savage-Bailey, of Tanglin House, Orchard Road, Singapore, she died on 28.2.42 (CWGC)
- WHITTERIDGE - Mrs. Margaret Whitteridge (born 1916) plus two children.(JM); no CWGC record: she was the daughter of Mrs. Ethel Maude Lungley recorded above; Margaret Lungley had married Gordon Whitteridge while he was British Vice-Consul in Batavia, he was then posted for a few months to Medan in Sumatra and early in 1942 when Batavia was being bombed by the Japanese, Margaret, with their two young children, sailed from Batavia in a Dutch ship the SS. Rooseboom for Colombo. Gordon waited for two weeks in Colombo until two Malay survivors arrived with the devastating news that the Rooseboom had been sunk two days out of Padang. The loss of his family was the tragedy of his life (Obituary to Sir Gordon Whitteridge); these facts are confirmed in the papers of Sir Gordon Whitteridge [IWM 99/50/1]
- WHITTERIDGE - Jacqueline Whitteridge, a sweet natured little girl aged two years of age, the child of (later) Sir Gordon Whitteridge and Mrs Margaret Whiteridge [IWM 99/50/1]
- WHITTERIDGE - Anthony Whitteridge, a three week old (he was born in Batavia on 4 February 1942) baby boy, the child of (later) Sir Gordon Whitteridge and Mrs Margaret Whitteridge [IWM 99/50/1]
o A police inspector from Shanghai, and,
o The captain of the Tien Kwang - this is difficult to verify because the captain of the Tien Kwang which had been sunk at Pom Pong island on 14.2.42 where Janet Lim had also been sunk on the SS. Kuala was actually Lt. W. Briggs, RNR. and there is no relevant record of his death that can be found by the researcher of this document. She may have been confusing Lt. Briggs with the Captain of the Rooseboom, Captain Boon - but until the fate of Lt. Briggs is verified this statement remains intriguing.
Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders:
CAMBRIDGESHIRE (2ND BTN.):
- BLACKWOOD - mentioned in "The Boat" as Captain Mike Blackwood (Boat); Captain Frederic Michael Ponsonby Blackwood, aged 23 years, # 74706, 2nd Btn, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, son of Col. F. A. Blackwood, DSO and Mrs Blackwood, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- GIBSON - Corporal Walter Gibson, #2977142, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (author of "The Boat")
- GRAY - Lance Corporal Jock Gray, Argylls, from Falkirk (Boat); Lance Corporal John Gray, aged 22 years, #3322704, 2nd Btn, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, son of Alexander and Jemima Gray of Seacliff, East Lothian, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- HAMILTON - Sgt. Robert Hamilton, #2979694, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders ( JM); Serjeant Robert Hamilton, aged 25 years, 2nd Btn, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, son of Charles and Margaret Hamilton of Glasgow, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC); he was mentioned by Walter Gibson as having been in the sole surviving lifeboat (WG)
- HARDIE/HARDY - mentioned in "The Boat" as Drummer Hardy of the Argylls ( Boat); actually Private Albert Hardie, aged 24 years, #2979976, 2nd Btn, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, son of Margaret Hardie , he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- MACDONALD - Major MacDonald A. & S. H. 'Certain' (CO 980/141);" ... in a recent interview [with] Mr. Stuart of Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank it was stated that:
Major Angus MACDONALD - Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders ADC to Brig. Paris. Embarked on S.S. ROOSEBOOM at PADANG and must be presumed drowned. Lt. Gen. C in C Allied land Forces SEA ..." (CO 980/141);
Major Charles Angus MacDonald, aged 29 years, #56135, 2nd Btn, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, son of John and Daisy MacDonald of Tayorloan, Argyllshire, he died on 2.3.42 (CWGC);
Major MacDonald's full name was Charles Angus Moreton MacDonald and he had been born at Largie Castle on the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll on 22 June, 1913. His father died when Angus was only eight years of age and he was sent to boarding school and then Winchester College. He was a keen athlete especially insofar as rowing. He then went on to Oxford University, Magdalen College to study History and graduated also from their Officer's Training Corps. After Oxford he joined the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders regiment as a regular officer and was commissioned into the 1st Battalion. In 1937 he joined the 2nd Battalion of the Argylls and was sent to Secunderabad in southern India. By 1939 he was Adjutant of the Battalion and in that year he moved with the Battalion (under the strict but inspired command of Colonel Ian Stewart) to Singapore where they trained in jungle warfare and earned the reputation of being the best trained unit in Malaya. There is a famous photo of Angus and RSM Sandy Munnoch following Colonel Stewart through the swamps of Singapore. In April 1941 Angus was promoted to the rank of Brigade Major of the 12th Indian Infantry Brigade - which consisted of the 2nd Argylls, the 5/2 Punjabs, and the 4/19 Hyderabads. When the Japanese invaded Malaya this Brigade moved to the north to back up the failing 11th Indian Division and during the next few weeks distinguished itself in many battles. They nearly met with disaster at Slim River and were routed by the Japanese who brought tanks into their midst very early in the morning of 6 January 1942. Many officers and men were killed taken captive or lost in the jungle (a few escaped to Sumatra at that point) so by the time the Battalion withdrew to the Singapore causeway the there were only 200 men left out of an original Argylls Battalion of 860.When the Japanese landed on Singapore island on the 8 February the remnants of the Battalion made a brave stand in the island's north-west and later blocked a tank column attempting to enter Singapore city. On the day before the Surrender to the Japanese, Angus was ordered to escape Singapore with Brigadier Paris, Michael Blackwood, Sgt. Willie MacDonald and Stewart's batman Drummer Hardy. They took a harbour Board launch, the Celia and navigate towards Sumatra's Djambi River, finally crossing Sumatra and reaching Padang. (Mary Gladstone, niece of Angus MacDonald)
- MCDONALD/MACDONALD - Sergeant Willie MacDonald , Argylls (Boat); Sgt William McDonald, 2979495, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (JM); in his statement to the War Office Walter Gibson recollects that Sergt William MacDonald, A. & S. Hldrs (Killed by an explosion at the side of Gibson) was on board the ship..." (WSWG); Sgt. William McDonald, #2979495, aged 30 years, 2nd Btn, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- PENDREIGH - Pte. William Pendreigh, # 2987012, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (JM); Private William Pendreigh, 2nd Battalion, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, aged 25 years, and son of Robert and Agnes Pendreigh of Hawick, Roxburghshire - he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
THORNE - Lt. Col. Thorne - see ROYAL NORFOLKS
[In a communication from GOC Ceylon dated 19.5.42 , he states that Captain W.E. Main, late QM of the 2nd Gordons and A and SH was sure that the following people embarked on the SS. Rooseboom - see image 4925 held by researcher]
- AITKEN - Cpl. Victor Aitken, #2867159, Headquarters Company, Gordon Highlanders - he had escaped from Singapore on the launch Celia with a large group of Gordon Highlanders and Brigadier Paris; also mentioned as Cpl. Aitken Mortar Pln. 45; Cpl. Victor Aitken, aged 41 years, son of William and Catherine Aitken (nee Sangster), he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- BREMNER - Pte. George Bremner, #2867145, Headquarters Company, Gordon Highlanders, he had escaped from Singapore with a large group of Gordon highlanders and Brigadier Paris on the launch Celia; Pte. George Birnie Bremner, aged 44 years, son of James and Henrietta Bremner from Aberdeen, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC); his family appear to have evacuated from Singapore safely, on 8.2.42 the QM of the 2nd Btn, Gordon Highlanders reported that "... the following families embarked Singapore for UK ... Mrs. Bremner and two children. Wife of Pte. Bremner. Husband and son serving in Singapore..."(Image 4944 held by researcher); without knowing the name of their son it is not possible to ascertain if he was captured or died in Singapore.
- BROWN - Sgt. Percy 'Percy' William Brown, #2876136, Headquarters Company, Gordon Highlanders, he had escaped from Singapore on the launch Celia with a large group of Gordon highlanders and Brigadier Paris; also mentioned as Sgt. Brown ex Drum Major; Sgt. William Percival Brown, aged 24 years, husband of Isobel Ruth Brown of Ontario, Canada, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC); it would appear that his family evacuated safely from Singapore; on 8.2.42 the QM of 2nd Btn. Gordon Highlanders reported "... the following families embarked Singapore for UK...wife of Sgt Brown (later Drum major) and two children. Husband believed lost after leaving Padang..."
- GIBB - A/Sgt. Kenneth McRae Gibb, #2876221, Headquarters Company, Gordon Highlanders - he was from Elgin and had escaped from Singapore with a large group of Gordon Highlanders on the launch Celia and Brigadier Paris; also mentioned as Sgt. Gibb TPT SGT; Sgt. Kenneth McRae Gibb, aged 27 years, son of Charles and Maria Gibb from Elgin, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC); there is a newspaper report (SFPMA 3.11.40) that Sgt. Gibb was invited to play at the Combined Services (soccer) trials at Thomson Road, Singapore in the position of trial goalkeeper.
- KEMP - L/Cpl. William Kemp, #2876320, Headquarters Company, Gordon Highlanders, he was from Aberdeen and had escaped from Singapore in the launch Celia with a large group of Gordon Highlanders and Brigadier Paris; also mentioned as L/Cpl Kemp Butcher A Coy.; L/Cpl William Kemp, aged 21 years, son of William and Mary Kemp of Woodside, Aberdeen (CWGC)
- MACDONALD - there is mention in the list by Captain Main of a Sgt. MacDonald on Brigadier Paris' Staff - however no record of such a person in the Gordon's ranks can be found by the researcher - so it must be a reference to Sgt. McDonald in the A. & S.H..
- MACGREGOR/ MCGREGOR - A/Sgt. Ronald Alexander McGregor, # 2875459, Headquarters company, Gordon Highlanders - he had escaped from Singapore in the launch Celia with a large group of Gordon Highlanders and Brigadier Paris; also mentioned as Sgt. MacGregor Pioneer Sgt.; Sgt. Ronald Alexander McGregor, aged 29 years, son of Mrs. W. H. Tawse of Aberdeen, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- MCNALLY - Pte. John McNally, # 7681724, Headquarters Company, Gordon Highlanders, he was from Ladywood, Birmingham and had escaped from Singapore on the launch Celia with a large group of Gordon Highlanders and Brigadier Paris; Pte. McNally Storeman and Bn. Chiropodist B. Coy.; Private John McNally, aged 43 years, son of Thomas and Gertrude McNally of Birmingham, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- MURDOCH - in his written statement to the War Office, Walter Gibson recalls that Pipe Major Murdoch, Gordon Highlanders was on the ship (WSWG); in fact this was Sgt. James Murdoch, #2872442, aged 32 years, 2nd Btn, Gordon Highlanders, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC); he had escaped from Singapore in the launch Celia with other sergeants from the Gordon Highlanders and Brigadier Paris; Sgt. Murdoch had lived with his family in Singapore for several years prior to the invasion and they are noted in a couple of newspaper articles - 28.1140 (SFPMA) "... all eyes were on seven year old Gordon Murdoch, son of Pipe major Murdoch of the Gordon Highlanders as he executed the intricate steps of this long dance (the 'Shearn Truibhias') ..."; and also the same dance rendition being mentioned in the "Straits Times' the following day as Sgt Murdoch's son competed in "The Highland Gathering" in Singapore.
- PETERKIN - QMS James Moir Peterkin, #2871383, Headquarters Company, Gordon Highlanders, from Aberdeen; he had escaped from Singapore on the Celia with other GHs and Brigadier Paris, Major Angus MacDonald and Captain Mike Blackwood of the Argylls; also recorded as QM Clerk and QMS Peterkin; WO Class II James Moir Peterkin, aged 36 years, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- SEY - Sgt. John Sey, #2876336, Headquarters Company (mentioned as being in the mortar platoon), Gordon Highlanders, from Alford, Aberdeenshire - he had escaped from Singapore on the launch Celia with a large party of Gordon Highlanders and Brigadier Paris; Sgt. John Sey, aged 30 years, son of Mr. & Mrs. George Sey from Alford, Aberdeenshire, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC); it is clear from numerous newspaper reports in Singapore during 1940 and 1941 that John Sey was an outstanding sportsman and a man of some strength, he played for the Gordon Highlanders Regimental soccer team and is reported frequently viz. (SFPMA 4.6.40) against the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders , and later ( ST 19.9.40) "... it found Brown and Sey in great form against the Customs .. when they won 3-0 ...", and on 29.3.41 in the "ST" when the Gordons beat the Manchesters "... but Sey, Brown and Mitchell were a triangle past whom they [Manchesters] found it almost impossible to penetrate ..."; also (ST 12.10.41) at the Malayan Highland games at Jalan Besar Stadium, Sgt. Sey was Second in the 'throwing of the hammer' and Third in the 'putting the 16 pond stone'.
- SHIRRAN - Sgt. Henry Shirran, #2876219, Headquarters Company, Gordon Highlanders, he was from Aberdeen and had escaped with other Gordon Highlanders and Brigadier Paris from Singapore on the launch Celia; mentioned in one record as Signal Sergeant; Sgt. Henry Shirran, aged 29 years, son of Mr. & Mrs. Shirran , he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC).
- SMITH - Sergeant Hector Smith, #2876242,Headquarters Company, Gordon Highlanders - who had escaped on the launch Celia with other men from the Gordon Highlanders and Brigadier Paris; he was from Aberdeen; also mentioned as Sgt. H. Smith Carrier Pln.; Sgt. H. Smith, aged 31 years, from Aberdeen, son of Frederick and Isabelle Smith, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- TOPP - CQMS Edward Argo Topp, #287 3868, Headquarters Company, Gordon Highlanders - he had escaped on a launch named Celia with a large party of Gordon Highlanders and Brigadier Paris, Major Angus MacDonald and Captain Mike Blackwood of the Argylls; Colour Sergeant Edward Frederick Topp, #2873868, aged 31 years, died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC;
- WINTON - CSM Andrew Winton, #2872532, Gordon Highlanders, Head Quarters company who had escaped from Singapore on the Celia with Brigadier Paris, Major Angus MacDonald and captain Mike Blackwood of the Argylls; also mentioned as CSM Winton A. A & S.H.; WO Class II (CSM) Andrew Winton, GH 2nd Btn, aged 36 years, husband of Jean Winton of Aberdeen , he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- Plus - the unresolved identity of a man recorded as being in the list of Gordon Highlanders who formed the official evacuation party (researchers image 4945) "... 2nd K.I.R.s Chief Clerk, S/Sgt. Ward RAMS also travelled with the above party ..."; no such person appears in the CWGC records.
- ACWORTH - Lt. Col. Ackworth (sic), A.A. & QMG 11 Div Certain (CO 980/141); mentioned in "The Boat" as J.P Acworth, Indian Army, since 1916 and who had served in France in the 1914-18 war as well as the Frontier campaign with the Poona Horse. Much of his service was on the staff in India. (The Boat); Lieutenant - Colonel John Pelham Acworth, #AI/387, aged 44 years, 12th Frontier Force, Indian nationality, husband of Jean Craig Acworth of Newcastle, Co. Down, Northern Ireland - he died on 3.3.42 (CWGC); according to "The Boat" Colonel Acworth died on the seventh day which would have been the 7.3.42.(Boat)
- CHOPRA - this name first appears as '... Lt. Col. Chappers..." in the Japanese broadcast of Walter Gibson's accounts in 1944; then in his statement to The War Office Walter Gibson recollected "Lt. Col Chopra, I.M.S. ..." or "... A Col D. C. Chopra, IMS ... "as being on board the ship; Lt. Col. Divan Chand Chopra, OBE., # M/5875, Indian nationality, Indian Medical Service, husband of D. C. Chopra of Lahore , Pakistan, he was qualified as M.B., Ch.B., he died on 1.3.42 (CWGC)
- CORRIE - mentioned in the book "The Boat" as Major Noel Corrie of the Engineers (Boat); there is the record that Major Noel Howard Wyatt Corrie, #56625, Royal Engineers, died on 2.3.42 (CWGC)
- DENT - Major Richard Dent is recorded by Walter Gibson as being in the lifeboat (WSWG); Major Richard Clinton Wilkinson Dent, #AT/353, Indian nationality, 2nd Btn, 12 Frontier Force Regiment, son of Major General Wilkinson Dent, CB., CBE., DSO., and of Florence Mabel Dent (nee Moojen), he died on 4.3.42 (CWGC); he attended Sedburgh School from 1922-1926 and on that school's roll of honour it is noted that he was 34 years of age when the Rooseboom was sunk.
- DOUGLAS - Lt. Col. Douglas IAOC SOME 11 Div 'Not Certain' (CO 980/141); also mentioned in "The Boat" as Lt. Col Douglas of the Indian Army Ordinance Corps (The Boat); Lt. Col William Abbott Gale Douglas, nationality Indian, aged 41 years, #818/1A, Indian Army Ordinance Corps, husband of Mary Evered Douglas of Lilliput, Dorsetshire, AMI Mech, also served in the Devonshire Regiment, he died 4.3.42 (CWGC)
- HILL - there are two references of a LT. H. L. Hill, 19 Hyderabad Regiment being on the ship (image 5018 held by researcher) with a reference on 7.7.44 to the effect that his wife in Australia had received a post card from him; also a statement by Lt. Col. Bristow, REME - the embarkation Officer - dated 3.9.44 states "... If Lt. Col. HILL held an appointment with any of these HQs [9 or 11 Divs or Malaya Command] and was known to be with Brigadier PARIS or Lieut. Col ACKWORTH then I think it is quite possible he was on the Rosebloom. He was certainly not on SS. Ban Ho Guan, the other missing steamer, and if he was in Brig. Paris' party he did not, to my knowledge remain in Padang..." (Memo from Staff Captain W. Paterson, CRO); in fact further research has found that T/Lt. Col. H. L. Hill had escaped on the launch Mary Rose from Singapore on 14.2.42 and became a POW when the launch was captured near Banka island. He was a POW in Muntok and then Changi - after the war serving with the Pakistan Military and dying in Pakistan in 1955.
- MACKENZIE / MCKENZIE? - mentioned in "The Boat" as Warrant Officer Mackenzie of Indian Army Ordinance Corps (Boat); however the researcher can find no record of this person on the CWGC website under the names Mackenzie or McKenzie.
- PARIS - Brigadier Paris 'Certain' ( CO 980/141); Brigadier Archibald Charles Melvill Paris, MC., #6515, aged 52 years, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, Commanding the 12th Indian Infantry Brigade, husband of Ruth Norton Paris of Folkstone, he died on 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- WOOLLCOMBE - Lt. Col. Woolcombe (sic) 2 G. R. "Not certain" (CO 980/141); in his statement to the War office Gibson recollected a "... Lt. Col. Woolcombe, Gurkas (sic)... as being on board the ship..." ; Lt. Col. Geoffrey Harley Douglas Woollcombe, Indian Nationality, 2nd King Edward VII's Own Ghurkha Rifles ( The Sirmoor Rifles), # 75/IA, aged 43 years, he also served in the 1914-18 war, son of Gerald and Mary Woollcombe, of Newton Abbot, Devon - he died 28.2.42 (CWGC)
- ARKLE - Armament Staff Sgt. Francis Arkle, #7589916, 18 Divisional Workshop, RAOC., aged 27 years, husband of Dorothy Arkle of Scotswood, Newcastle-on-Tyne he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC).
- CARLEY - Staff Sgt. Noah Carley,#7600359, 1st Ordnance Field Park, RAOC, aged 33 years, husband of Winifred Carley of Guildford , Surrey, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- CHOULARTON - Pte. George Frederick Choularton, # 7613779, 1st Ordnance Field Park, RAOC., aged 22 years, husband of Joyce Choularton of Dukinfield , Cheshire, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- CRANMER - Cpl. Daniel Cranmer,# 7605348, 18 Divisional Workshop, RAOC., aged 25 years, husband of Agnes Cranmer of Glasgow, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- DONALD - Staff Sgt. Michael John Donald, #5122445, 1st Ordnance Field park, RAOC., aged 21 years, son of major Alexander Donald (formerly IAOC) and Mary Donald of Crouch End , London, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- GREAVES - Staff Sgt. Robert Johnson Greaves, #1981705, 1st Ordnance Field Park, RAOC., aged 32 years, husband of Gladys Maud Greaves of Chelmsford, Essex, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- HEATH - Warrant Officer Class II (Armt. S.Q.M.S.) William Frank Heath, # 7624249, 1 Ordinance Field Park, RAOC., was lost on the Rooseboom between 2 .3.42 and 3 .3.42 , aged 26 years, husband of Marjorie Beryl Heath of Erdington, Birmingham (CWGC and RollofHonour.co.uk)
- IVES - Lt. Col. Ives RAOC or IAOC Malaya Command 'Certain' (CO 980/141); "... The following officers were probably on board ... T/Lt. Col. Ives," R.A.C.C. (WO 361/164); Lt. Col. Augustus Harry Ives, # 70684, Cdg 10 Sect, RAOC, he died 2.3.42 (CWGC)
- JONES - Sgt. John William Jones , # 7607976, 1st Ordnance Field park, RAOC., aged 25 years, son of William and Evelyn Jones of Cosham, Portsmouth, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- MCCOLM - Sgt. Arthur John McColm, #7588959, 18th Divisional Ordnance Workshop, RAOC., aged 37 years, husband of Hilda McColm, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- OATES - Staff Sgt Arthur Thomas Oates, # 7607954, RAOC, aged 28 years, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC).
- READ - Staff Sgt. William Herbert Read, #732662, RAOC., aged 40 years, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- SAUNDERS - Sgt. Percy Kitchener Saunders , # 7624351, 18 Divisional workshops, RAOC., aged 25 years, husband of Vera Saunders of Frosterley, Co. Durham, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- SPEAREY- WO Class II Frederick Thomas Spearey, # 7583130, 1st Army Ordnance Field Park, RAOC., aged 29 years, husband of Florence Spearey of Flitwick, Bedfordshire, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- WEBB - Staff Sgt. George William Webb, #7643973, 18 Divisional Workshop, RAOC., aged 26 years, husband of Doreen Webb of New Balderton, Nottinghamshire FSMC, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 ( CWGC) ."
- BALLS - Gnr. Balls L. A. 3rd heavy AA; Gunner Leonard Arthur Balls, #1426838, , 3rdHAA Regt., R.A., aged 26 years, son of James and Catherine Balls, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- BLAKE - Gnr. Blake R.J.; Gunner Reginald John Blake, # 1561258, 7th Coast Regt., R.A., aged 26 years, son of Levi and Matilda Blake of Lambeth, London, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC).
- BOON - Gnr. Boon A. H. : Gunner Alfred Harold Boon, #543626, 7th Coast Regt, R.A., aged 37 years, son of Alfred and Annie Boon of Walken, Hertfordshire, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- BOX - RQMS Box J.T., 1st HKSRA; WO Class II Joseph Thomas Box, # 1024790, 3rd Lt. AA Regt., R. A., aged 41 years, husband of Mary Veronica Box of Eltham, London, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- BROWN - Mr. Gnr. Brown A. E., 9th Coast Regt./ Penang Fire Company attached HQ Fixed Defences Malaya; WO Class II Alfred Edward Brown, #781840, 9th Coast Regt., R.A., husband of Florence Brown of Aldershot, Hampshire he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- BROWN - Sgt. (AC0 Brown J. F. 1st HKSRA; Staff Sergeant John Frederick Brown, #833673, HQ Fixed Defences Malaya, 1st HAA Regt., R.A., aged 27 years, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- CHAPPELL - Gnr. Chappell L. ; Gunner Leonard Bartlett Chappell, # 843596,7th Coast Regt., R.A., aged 28 years, son of Leo and Lucy Chappell, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- DAVIES - Bdr. Art. Davies D 1st HKSRA; Bombardier David Durand Davies, #1530007, 1st HAA Regt., R.A., aged 24 years, son of Luther and Gwenlian Davies of Acock's Green, Birmingham, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- DAVIES - Gnr. Davies D.; Gunner Dewi Gyndwr Davies, # 3961338, 7th Coast Regt., R.A., aged 25 years, son of Jonah and Elizabeth Davies of Miskin, Glamorgan, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- DIX - Gnr. Dix H.; Gunner George Henry Dix, # 8353777, 7th Coast Regt., R.A., aged 26 years, son of George and Emma Dix of Walsall, Staffordshire died 2.3.42 (CWGC)
- EDENDEN - Gnr. Edenden W.S.; Gunner William Stewart Edenden, # 1580035, Royal Artillery, aged 29 years, son of Mr & Mrs. W. G. Edenden of Chingford, Essex, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- FRY - Gnr. Fry B.A. 3rd heavy AA; Gunner Alfred Thomas Fry, #872036, 29 Bty. #rd HAA Regt., R.A., aged 25 years, husband of Jessie Margaret Fry of Balsall Heath, Birmingham, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- GREENLAND - Gnr. Greenland F. T. 315 Searchlight Bty, R.A.; Gunner Frank Thomas Greenland, #2050994, 5 Searchlight Regt., R.A., aged 21 years, son of Arthur and Elsie Greenland of Lower Tuffley, Gloucester he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- GUTHRIE - Art. Guthrie J.B.; Gunner Jacob Boag Guthrie, # 1575440, 7th Coast Regt., R.A., aged 24 years, husband of Hannah Elizabeth Guthrie of Whickham, Co. Durham died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- HARDING - Bdr. Harding K.; BDR. Kenneth Harding, #850830, aged 26 years, 7th Coast Regt., R.A., died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- HARVEY - Sgt. Harvey 148th Field Regt; Sgt. George Arthur Harvey, #1425195, 420Bty, 148 (The Bedfordshire Yeo) Field Regt., aged 39 years, husband of L. M. Harvey of Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- HESKETH - Gnr. Hesketh J.J.; Gunner John Jellicoe Hesketh, # 847957, 7th Coast Regt., R.A., aged 26 years, son of Annie Hesketh of Bury, Lancashire, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- JOHNSON - Gnr. Johnson H.; Gunner Harold Clifford Alwyn Johnson, # 872658, 7th Coast Regt., R.A., aged 26 years and the son of George and Edna Johnson of Broomhill, Sheffield, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC); email correspondence with his nephew (Mike Sharpe) on 27.2.12 gave the additional information that he was known as 'Clifford 'Johnson and was born in Gainsborough on 29.1.17, the eldest of four children (a sister is still alive in 2012). Clifford was an east Yorkshire farm boy at heart who loved horses and wanted to join the Royal Horse Artillery, but at 5 foot 8 inches was too tall for the role and instead joined the Royal Artillery on 29.11.37 in Hull, accompanied by his mother and sister (for whom he bought a dress). He trained at Woolwich and was posted to Singapore in 1938 joining the 3rd HAA on 31.12.39. He was transferred to the 7th Coast Regt. On 5.8.41 his mother received a letter on 25.8.43 advising her of her son's presumed death KIA at sea on 2.3.42, after embarking at Sumatra on 26.2.42.
- LACK - Gnr. Lack A. 3rd Light HKSRA; Gunner Alexander lack, #1441351, 3rd Lt. AA, R.A., aged 20 years, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- LOCKE - Gnr. Locke M.; Gunner Mark Locke, # 863045, 7th Coast regt., R.A., he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- KINGSHOTT - BSM (AIG) Kingshott, born Branshott, Hampshire in 1914 the eldest of three children; WO Class II (BSM) Robert William George Kingshott, # 840146, 7th Coast Regt., R.A. aged 27 years, he died on 2.3.42 (CWGC).
- LUXTON - SN. Luxton F.H. GHQAA defences; WO Class II Frank Herbert Luxton, #1066858, 1st HAA Regt., R.A., aged 33 years, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- MARSH - Gnr. Marsh R. 3rd Heavy A.A.; Gunner Robert Marsh, #814089, 3rd HAA Regt., R.A., aged 28 years, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- MARTIN - Gnr. Martin A.L. ; Gunner Alan Martin, # 1105474, 7th Coast Regt., R. A. #1105474, 7th Coast Regt., R.A., aged 21 years son of Leonard and Alice Martin of Oxford died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42.(CWGC).
- MCDONNELL - Gnr. McDonnell P.; Gunner Patrick McDonnell, #5047056, 7th Coast regt., R.A., he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- MEAD - Bdr. Art. Mead A.S. 1st HKSRA; Bombardier Andrew Mead, #793657, 1st HAA Regt., R.A., aged 31 years, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- NEWMAN - Gnr. Newman G. 3rd Heavy A.A.; Gunner George Henry Newman, #1427091, 3rd HAA Regt., R.A., he died between 2.8.42 and 3.8.42 according to the CWGC website but this is almost certainly an error on their public records and would have been a transcribing error for the correct date of between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- OGILVIE - Gnr. Ogilvie A; Gunner Alexander Ogilvie, # 1820004, 9th Coast Regt., R.A., aged 19 years, the son of James and Barbara Ogilvie of Bannockburn, Stirlingshire he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- POLLARD - Gnr. Pollard G.; Gunner George Pollard, # 1808438, 7th Coast Regt., R.A., aged 20 years, son of Bracewell and Mary Pollard of Flint, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- PRIDHAM - Master Gunner Pridham A., 7th Coast Regt.; WO Class I Arthur Pridham,# 1414868, R.A. 7th Coast Regt., aged 39 years who died 2.3.42 (CWGC); also there is a newspaper photo of Mr. & Mrs Pridham whilst in Singapore before the Japanese invasion at the 7th heavy Regt, R.A. dance at Blakan Mati , the island adjacent to Singapore which is now named Sentosa (STA).
- RUNYARD - SM Runyard: WO Class II George Runyard, #1414045, 12th Coast Regt., R. A., aged 42 years, husband of Ann Runyard,. He died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC); Mr. & Mrs. Runyard were involved in social activities at the Changi Garrison in Singapore as exemplified by newspaper reports mentioning George Runyard being involved in the McEwans Billiards and Darts competition (SFPMA 18.3.41) and Mrs Runyard reported as winning a whist drive at the RA (Changi) Married Families Club (SFPMA on 19.11.40 and 26.11.40).
- SEAL - Gnr. Seal G.E.; Gunner George Edwin Seal, #1781858, 7th Coast regt., R.A., aged 21 years and the son of Arthur and Susan Seal of Sudbury, Suffolk, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- SHACKLETON - Bdr. Shackleton G.A. 3rd heavy A.A.; Bombardier Arthur Shackleton, # 1427449, 3rd HAA., R.A., aged 29 years, husband of Priscilla Annie Shackleton of Shotton, Cheshire, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- SHEAFF - Sgt. Art. Sheaff W. 3rd Light HKSRA; Sgt. Wilfred George Sheaff, #1020192, Hong Kong & Singapore Royal Artillery, 3rd Light AA Regt., he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- SMITH - Bdr. A. Smith; Lance Bombardier Albert Joseph Smith, # 2048662, 7th Coast Regt., R.A., aged 23 years, son of Thomas and Priscilla Smith of Grimsby, Lancashire, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- SPRATT - Gnr. Spratt T.W.; Gunner Trevor William Spratt, #1818135, 9th Coast Regt., R.A., aged 28 years, died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC).
- STUBBERFIELD - Gnr. Stubberfield J.E. J.; Gunner James Ernest John Stubberfield, # 1697985, 31 Bty. , 7th Coast Regt, R.A., aged 32 years, son of Ernest and Sarah Stubberfield of Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42. (CWGC)
- WARD - Ward L.A.; Gunner Leslie Arthur Ward, #1807799, 7th Coast Regt., R.A., aged 22 years, son of Mr. & Mrs. A. J. Ward of Tiverton, Devon, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- WELSH - Gnr. Welsh A. P. ; Gunner Alexander Peter Welsh, # 850955, 7th Coast Regt., R.A., died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- WILLIAMS - QMS Artificer Williams L.F.; WO Class II Leonard Frank Williams, # 1412202, R.A., 7th Coast Regt., he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- WILLIAMS - Gnr. Williams W. 3rd heavy AA; Gunner Walter Williams, #1426894, 3rd HAA Regt., R.A., he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- WINSHIP - Gnr. Winship C. ; Gunner Charles Winship, #830321, 7th Coast Regt., R.A. died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- HEATHCOTE - Major Heathcote Gen. List (Movement Control) Singapore 'Certain' (CO 980/141;"The following officers were probably on board...T/Major Heathcote general List..." (WO 361/164); would appear to be Captain George Henry Heathcote, # 154879, MBE, RASC, husband of Joan Heathcote of Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, he died 2.3.42 (CWGC)
- MACRORY - "the following officers were probably on board... Capt. (? MACRORY), 18 Div. Recce Regt ..." (WO 361/164); Capt. MacRory, 18th Div. Recce regt. (ex 5th Btn the Loyal Regt); - this may be a confusion with a Corporal John McGrory of the 18 Div. Recce Regt. who died 24.2.42 (CWGC) - it is possible that Corporal McGrory was on the Rooseboom and this is a matter of ongoing research
- PALMER - Lt. Col. Palmer RE (AQMG) Malaya Command 'Certain' (CO 980/141); mentioned in "The Boat" as Lt. Col. R. E. Palmer of the Indian Army; in fact more correctly Lt. Col. George Archdale Palmer, # 18178, MID, of the Royal Engineers and husband of Phoebe van Someren Palmer (nee Taylor) of Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, he died on 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- THORNE - Lt. Col. Thorne G.C. Norfolk Regt. Comdg. Cambs. 'Not certain' (CO 980/141); Lt. Col. Gordon Calthrop Thorne, #13944, DSO., twice Mentioned in Despatches, aged 43 years, of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, also Commanding the 2nd Btn. Cambridgeshire Regiment, husband of Pamela Thorne, he had been MID in the 1914-18 war, he died between 2.3.42 and 3.3.42 (CWGC)
- ROSENBERG - "...The following officers are definitely known to have embarked ...Col. R.L.M. Rosenberg R. Signals..." (WO 316/164); Colonel Richard Louis Mortimer Rosenberg, #13450, Royal Corps of Signals (Secondary regiment Indian Signal Corps), died between 2 March and 3 March 1942 (CWGC)
Survivors from the SS. Kuala;
- "Dirk..." the Chief Officer of the SS. Rooseboom and his wife - "... a large, stout, fair-haired woman of thirty or so, dressed in a blouse and skirt and carrying a handbag ..." - as recorded in "The Boat"
- 'One woman with three children...' - in his statement to The War Office Walter Gibson recollected "...One women with Three children..." as being on board the ship.
- "...some wives of P.W.D. officials ..."- are recollected by Walter Gibson as being on the ship
- Walter Gibson in his written statement to The war Office records that there were "...3 F.M.S. police officers ..." in the lifeboat - which means that in addition to Asst Superintendent Davis there were two other FMS police officers , which gives more weight to Asst. Supt George Edward DEVONSHIRE of the Straits Settlement Police Force above being on board (WSWG); to speculate on the identity of the third member of this group, the only other FMSPF or SSPF to have been recorded as dying on or around the 28.2.42 was long serving Police Clerk Choy Chew Pui of the Straits Settlements Police Force, aged 48 years who died on 28.2.42 (CWGC)
- Captain HAMRORY - stated to be of the 18th Divisional Recce Regt (GOC. Ceylon 11.4.42, Image 4921 on researcher's CD of files); this could be a misspelling of the person by the name MACRORY who is also unidentified.
- A young C.Q.M.S. (from Ordinance or Engineers) also mentioned as C.Q.M.S. of the 18th Division -"...he was only about twenty one but he had a timbre and a toughness that was lacking in the others..." - from "The Boat"
- A Colour Sergeant of the Gordon Highlanders - "... a little dried up nut of a man who had served for fifteen or sixteen years in the Far East, and who was known as "Tich" to all of us ..." - a survivor in the lifeboat , mentioned in the book "The Boat"
- John Wagstaff, Signal Btn., FMSVF records that he and other Malayan Volunteers were joined in their escape from Singapore in a tongkang by "...nineteen gunners and sappers from Pulau Brani... one officer including a Scottish Private "Jock" who was in charge despite there being an officer (a Lieutenant and a Warrant Officer)..." - the Lieutenant and the warrant officer from this group left on a ship to Australia on 25 February before the Rooseboom departed so there may be a record of their escape and the names of some of these men ?
- "a group from another regiment, five of them,...they had been stationed somewhere on some island near Singapore... before the Rooseboom had sailed they had been heard to speak of getting a small boat and sailing over to Dutch territory together...- from "The Boat'
- "...a man called Welby..." ("Singapore's Dunkirk , Geoffrey Brooke p. 26) as part of the media party which left Singapore with Doris Lim
- "...two Officers of the (naval?) base Fire Brigade - (Singapore's Dunkirk" by Geoffrey Brooke P.26) as part of the original group who boarded the kung Wo in Singapore with Doris Lim
- "...a youngster of the Loyal regiment..." - from "The Boat"(p.58)
- Also Walter Gibson in his written statement to the war Office recollected that the following were on board the ship (in addition to those reaching the life boat) - "...officers and men of the following units (names not remembered)...
- Recce. Corps
- R.Corps Signals
- Royal Artillery
- R.A.S.C. Gordon Hldrs
- F.M.S. Volunteers
Given the report of some people from the SS. Kuala being definitely passengers on the SS. Rooseboom (after the earlier sinking of the SS. Kuala at Pom Pong Island) - the researcher has appended this speculative list of people who have not been otherwise accounted for as any of internees, deaths in the sinking of the Kuala, or people who lost their lives in the sinking of the SS. Tandjong Pinang (after being picked up from Pom Pong island) or evacuated from Padang by other means for the record and we would appreciate any feedback on the known fate of these following people to clear them from involvement from the Rooseboom story;
- Mr. & Mrs. G. Barclay and their son - they are reported to have reached Padang and left on 1.3.42
- Miss Beswne
- H.H. Blair
- Sub Lt T. S. Brand
- Miss S. Brent
- Lt. Briggs
- Broad - an Officer on the Kuala
- Miss E. Bullen
- Miss M. S. Chan, GH.
- Ms. R. Cherry
- Cobb - an Officer on the Kuala
- C.H. A. Cosmack, Ipoh
- Davis - a seaman on the Kuala
- Deldridge - a seaman on the Kuala
- Miss Dennison
- Miss Domby
- Eastwet - an Officer on the Kuala
- Mr. & Mrs. Eoh Se Doh plus two children
- Miss J. Franklin
- Godfrey - a seaman on the Kuala
- Matron (Miss) C.H. Hardy/Hardie
- Hearst - a seaman on the Kuala
- Mr. J. Hitching
- Mr. Houston, Chartered Bank
- Hsu Cheng Hsin
- Hudson - a seaman on the Kuala
- Miss Jones (Perak)
- Mrs. Kerr, nee Fowler-Wright
- Miss Key, teacher, Penang
- King - a seaman on the Kuala
- Miss Lien
- Sister (Miss) Grace Lim
- Miss Lydall, child, Padang
- Lutiff - a seaman on the Kuala
- Mrs McCandish) (Dennieson)
- Nurse (Mrs) J.B. McDonald
- Sister G.H. McKinley - ...18 hours Davo..."
- Miss L. D. Morden
- Murray - seaman on the Kuala
- Miss Northey - Dutch Censors Office
- Nurse Oswald
- Mr. R. R. Roberts - Public Works Dept
- Miss Rose Seow
- Sister (Miss) Seong Siew
- Miss B. Sim, General Hospital, MAS.
- Ms. Sleigh and three children - this would have been Miss Jessie Lee and Stella, Iris and Gracie Sleigh - the three daughters of Singapore race Horse trainer Henry "Pop" Sleigh
- Mr. D. B. Smith - Public Works Department
- Mrs. Soong Siew Ling
- Mrs. Stallworthy - whose husband worked in petrol rationing (other records say Hilda Stallworthy evacuated on the Empress of Japan)
- Sister L. Stephens - possibly Mrs. Lillian Stephens, Municipal Welfare Officer, whose husband was Sgt John Stephens, RA, and a POW
- Storey - seaman on the Kuala
- Miss Sutherland - of Adelphi Hotel
- Nurse T. C. Syn
- Misses Tan (two women) - dental, IMNS
- Dr. Tan Su Lan & son
- Mr. & Mrs. Tang Yong Pang
- Ware - a seaman on the Kuala
- Wareham - an Officer on the Kuala
- Miss P. Warnett
- Miss Annie Weir - General Hospital
- Mrs. Wildy - "...husband Brigadier Acc Acc..."; this may in fact be Mrs. Joan Wildey who was lost at sea in the sinking of the SS. Tandjong Pinangon 17.2.42?
- Capt. Williamson - however this could be Captain T. W. Williamson, # 13961, FMSVF, who is recorded as being evacuated to Padang in February 1942 and then reached India and became an Aerial Surveyor in Zambia and then Malaya
- J. L. Wilson - Singapore
- Wong Kam Hung
- Miss Yee Sin Heng - Woodville Hospital
- Yuens - APC, 2nd Engineer.
In 2019 additional material was sent to the webmaster. This is to be found on the Roosboom Update
(Update on SS Roosboom sinking)
Copyright Michael Pether
Military History Society /