November 1941 - February 5 1942

The Singapore Voyage

Escape from Singapore - how the Emprses of Asia crew made it home.

The EMPRESS OF ASIA, after embarking troops, sailed from Liverpool for Africa on November 12th, 1941, on what was to become the ship’s final voyage.  Freetown was reached on November 26th, 1941, and while en route to Capetown the attack on Pearl harbour occurred, expanding the war into the Asia and the Pacific.  Christmas Day was spent at Durban where orders were received to disembark the troops on board and to proceed to Bombay.

Bombay was reached on January 15th, 1942 and the EMPRESS OF ASIA embarked 2200 troops and sailed for Singapore on January 23rd, 1942.

On February 4th, 1942 the ship, as part of a convoy that included the FELIX ROUSSEL, PLANCIUS, DEVONSHIRE, and the CITY OF CANTERBURY and led by H.M.S. EXETER, was attacked in Banka Straits by an aircraft formation.  However no direct hits were encountered.

The next day, February 5th, 1942, another aerial bombardment occurred that resulted in several direct hits that soon set the mid-section of the ship ablaze.  The ship was subsequently anchored and abandoned.

Many ships came to the rescue of the crew and passengers of the EMPRESS OF ASIA and were responsible for greatly reducing loss of life.  These vessels included the H.M.A.S. BENDIGO, H.M.A.S. WOLLONGONG, H.M.A.S. YARRA, H.M.S. DANAE, and H.M.I.S. SUTLEJ.  The H.M.A.S. YARRA, under the command of Lieutenant Commander W.H. Harrington RAN, was particularly prominent in rescue, pulling along side the burning ship and taking off over a thousand survivors.  Harrington drew attention to the courageous conduct of one YARRA sailor, Leading Seaman Ronald Taylor.

The following list contains the names of the 413 crewmembers that were serving on the EMPRESS OF ASIA on February 5th, 1942.



Abbott, P. J. Able Seaman
Addison, F. W. Engineer
Anderson, A. Boy Seaman
Angus, H. J. Purser
Atkins, D. M. Cadet
Bailey, C. F. Butcher
Banks, W. A. Waiter
Barraclough, J. W. Engineer
Barrow, L. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S., Naval Gunner
Barry, R. Boy Seaman
Bate, A. E. Waiter
Baylis, R.  Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Beattie, A. Cook's Boy
Bell, D. Baker
Bellis, J. F. Plate Sculleryman
Bennett, G. Trimmer
Bennett, H. J. Fireman
Blackburn, G. Fireman
Bogle, W. Fireman
Bradley, J. Fireman
Brannan, W. Fireman
Bree, B. M. Barkeeper
Brewer, J. Baker
Brierley, W. Chief Butcher
Brierley, W. J. Waiter
Briggs, H. W. Steward
Brophy, T. Greaser
Brown,  Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Brown, J. Captain's Steward
Brown, J. T. Able Seaman
Brown, P. Fireman
Burke, P. Fireman
Burns, S. Greaser
Burrows, T. Steward
Butcher, H. Quarter Master
Butler, L. J. Officers' Boy
Butterworth, R. Fireman
Cahoon, J. C. Steward
Cameron, T. Able Seaman
Carse, D. F. Steward
Carter, C. L. Dispenser
Carter, J. W. Kitchen Porter
Cassidy, R. Fireman
Chan, K. Carpenter/Joiner
Chan, L. Carpenter/Joiner
Chang, T. Y. Rustyman
Chapman, C. Trimmer
Chegwin, H. C. Steward
Christian, P. Plateman
Clarke, G. H. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S., Military Gunner
Clotsworthy, S. J. Pantryman
Coburn, G. Trimmer
Colbrae, P. Greaser
Collins, H. Barkeeper
Collins, J. Fireman
Connor, J. Fireman
Cook, C. Butcher
Cook, F. Greaser
Corbett, J. Baker
Costello, M. W. Ordinary Seaman
Couch, B. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Covell, L. P. Cook
Cowell, H. Pantryman
Cowley, W. F. Engineer
Coyle, J. Fireman
Cranny, J. Fireman
Crawford, A. Able Seaman
Critchley, W. F. Kitchen Porter
Crofts, C. W. 2nd Officer
Cropper, C. Fireman
Crosby, B. Fireman
Crosby, M. J. Fireman
Cross, T. Fireman
Crowley, S. F. Cook
Crowther, J. Pantryman
Cruikshank, E. Linenkeeper
Cuestra, C. Quarter Master
Curran, J. Trimmer
Curran, M. G. Waiter
Currin, F. H. Trimmer
Cusack, C. Steward
Dawber, J. Trimmer
Denommee, R. Trimmer
Diamond, T. Storekeeper
Dickens, J. S. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S., Military Gunner
Dignall, R. Trimmer
Dignan, S. E. Cook
Dolan, D. Waiter
Dolan, J. Trimmer
Donaldson, A. Greaser
Donnelly, J. W. 3rd Officer
Dougherty, W. G. Barkeeper
Drummond, J. Sanitation Engineer
Dudley, A. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Duff, P. Greaser
Duffy, C. Trimmer
Dunne, J. Able Seaman
Durr, J. Fireman
Dwyer, P. Fireman
Dykes, A. Greaser
Dyson, R. J. Pantryman
Ealer, A. Trimmer
Earl, V. Fireman
Edwards, E. A. Steward
Edwards, L. Able Seaman
Edwards, R. Fireman
Elsmore, E. A. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Elworthy, D. R. Pantryman
Ennis, F. Trimmer
Evans, W. L. Waiter
Ewart, J. N. Sailor
Farrell, R. T. 1st Radio Officer
Fay, J. Able Seaman
Feeney, L. J. Waiter
Feeney, P. Fireman
Feeney, W. Trimmer
Ferguson, C. Able Seaman
Ferrie, J. Waiter
Finnigan, J. G. Butcher
Flynn, F. Cook
Forrest, F. Greaser
Fowler, J. J. Trimmer
Francis, E. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Fraser, G. W. Storekeeper
Fuller, A. A. Steward
Fulton, J. F. Fireman
Fulton, T. A. Ordinary Seaman
Gadson, J. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Gallacher, A. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Gardner, A. B. Engineer
Gardner, J. J. Cook
Gee, A. E. Chef
Gibb, F. S. M. Linenkeeper
Gick, J. Cook
Giles, J. H. Laundryman
Gillespie, F. T. Chief Electrician 
Gillett, C. J. O. Boy Seaman
Gleaves, H. Fireman
Glover, H. Fireman
Glover, W. Greaser
Gorman, J. Fireman
Grainger, E. Greaser
Gray, V. P. Pantryman
Green, T. E. Greaser
Green, W. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Grigsby, W. Fireman
Gwynne, H. Able Seaman
Hall, A. E. Laundryman
Halliwell, A. Joiner
Halsall, D. Trimmer
Hampshire, I. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.,  Able Seaman, Royal Navy
Handley, A. W. Able Seaman
Hanratty, J. Greaser
Harkins, P. L. 2nd Radio Officer
Harper, G. Fireman
Harris, A. V. Steward
Harrison, A. Chief Engineer's Writer
Harrison, R. Cadet
Harvey, R. P. Waiter
Hatcher, H. Quarter Master
Hazard, W. P. Waiter
Heaven, J. Fireman
Hesp, H. Fire Patrol
Hesp, H. A. Butcher
Heveren, E. Trimmer
Hewitson, S. Barkeeper
Higgins, L. Barkeeper
Higgins, W. J. Steward
Higgs, E. E. Cadet
Hill, R. H. Barkeeper
Hines, E. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Hogan, J. Waiter
Holmes, A. W. Engineer
Hornby, T. Able Seaman
Hosken, G. Able Seaman
Howard, W. Fireman
Hughes, E. J. Laundryman
Hughes, E. R. Cook
Hughes, R. R. Chef
Hughes, W. H. Butcher
Humphrey, R. L. Ordinary Seaman
Imms, H. Waiter
Imms, J. Butcher
Irving, W. Chief Steward's Writer
Jackson, J. Storekeeper
Jackson, N. Able Seaman
James, A. Fire Patrol
Jenkins, A. Able Seaman
Johnson, J. Fireman
Johnson, W. Trimmer
Johnston, G. E. Baker
Johnston, L. H. 1st Officer
Jones, E. Able Seaman
Jones, I. V. Fireman
Jones, P. Trimmer
Jones, R. A. V. Waiter
Jones, V. C. Boatswain's Mate
Joyce, E. R. Engineer
Keen, A. S. Baker
Kelly, J. Steward
Kelly, J. F. Waiter
Kelly, N. Waiter
Kelly, R. Fireman
Kennedy, H. Able Seaman
King, H. Greaser
King, W. Trimmer
Kirby, A. H. Able Seaman
Kirby, F. R. Waiter
Knott, J. Engineer 
Koster, G.  L. Waiter
Laberge, R. Trimmer
Lamont, R. Engineer
Lasky, M. Cook
Latham, W. Fireman
Lawler, W. Fireman
Lawrence, A.  F. Waiter
Lea, T. Fireman
Leary, R. Trimmer
Ledwidge, F. Greaser
Lee, A. P. Fireman
Lee, R. Cook
Leger, J. C. Trimmer
LePatourel, P. A. Cadet
Lindon, J. N. Cook
Lindsay, W. G. 3rd Radio Officer
Lloyd, D. Storekeeper
Lloyd, R. Engineers' Steward
Lloyd, W. Pantryman
Lloyd, W. G. Storekeeper
Lomas, J. H. Waiter
Longfield, A. G. Quarter Master
Lorrain, A. Kitchen Porter
Lumley, S. Sculleryman
Lunt, H. Fire Patrol
Maguire, D. P. Waiter
Mahon, T. Fireman
Maloney, J. Master at Arms
Manley, A. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S., Military Gunner
Manville, T. Able Seaman
Marlow, W. J. Waiter
Marshall, R. Able Seaman
Masson, J. Engineer
Masterson, W. J. Waiter
Mawdsley, J. Boots
McArthur, W. B. Engineer
McCormick, D. Fireman
McCormick, T. Fireman
McCormick, W. Trimmer
McDonnell, T. Trimmer
McFeeley, D. Trimmer
McGinley, W. K. Surgeon
McGlone, A. Greaser
McGovern, E. Fireman
McGowan, G. Trimmer
McGregor, R. E. B. Steward
McHugh, J. Trimmer
McIntyre, W. C. A. Cook
McKean, R. A. Engineer
McKelvie, J. J. Cook
McKeown, W. Boatswain
McKinnon, W. R. Ordinary Seaman
McLean, H. 5th Officer
McLeod, F. C. Greaser
McMahon, Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
McPherson, W. Sailor
McVey, J. Fireman
Meakin, J. W. Baker
Meikle, G. L. Electrician
Millette, H. Trimmer
Minshull, W. R. Waiter
Mitchell, J. Fireman
Mooney, G. Trimmer
Moran, B. D. Chief Purser
Morgan, E. Trimmer
Morgan, P. Trimmer
Morgan, P. Trimmer
Morgan, S. S. Waiter
Morriey, F. Cook
Morris, H. Boots
Morrison, A. Engineers' Boy
Muldoon, F. Laundryman
Mullen, M. Fireman
Munro, J. Fireman
Murdoch, A. Able Seaman
Murphy, J. D. Waiter
Murphy, R. M. Officers' Steward
Myhill, W. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Neish, J. Engineer
Newnes, R. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Nickels, K. A. Barkeeper
Nimmo, W. R. Trimmer
Nolan, E. J. Kitchen Porter
Noone, F. Waiter
North, J. Fireman
Oakford, R. Fireman
Oatham, R. E. Waiter
O'Brien, M. Fireman
O'Flaherty, J. Fireman
O'Keefe, S. Fireman
Oliver, W. 4th Officer
O'Reilly, M. C. Cook
O'Rourke, P. Engineers' Steward
O'Shea, J. Fireman
O'Toole, L. Trimmer
Owen, H. J. Chief Engineer
Paley, A. Steward
Parker, L. Fireman
Parker, V. Cook
Paterson, J. R. Waiter
Paterson, R. H. Cook
Patten, T. Trimmer
Penrith, D. F. C. Sculleryman
Pitt-Brooke, R. Cadet
Porter, S. N. Fireman
Powell, G. F. Steward
Powell, T. G. Storekeeper
Powell, W. T. Fireman
Prescott, B. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Price, L. Steward
Pritchard, R. Pantryman
Pritchard, T. Engineer
Proctor, A. W. Kitchen Porter
Punter, E. R. Quarter Master
Quillan, J. Fireman
Rainer, H. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S., Military Gunner
Reardon, P. Fireman
Redfern, W. H. Fireman
Reekie, G. Purser's Messenger
Reevell, W. H. Refrigeration Engineer
Reid, J. Trimmer
Ricketts, G. Trimmer
Rigby, W. A. Steward
Riley, H. Waiter
Riley, J. H. Fireman
Roberts, H. W. Baker
Roberts, T. H. Waiter
Robertson, H. Engineer
Robinson, W. J. Purser
Roche, F. Butcher
Roche, W. Trimmer
Rooney, C. Trimmer
Rowed, W. G. F. Engineers' Steward
Rowlands, J. P. Fireman
Rowlands, R. D. Waiter
Ruddy, M. Trimmer
Rusk, C. A. Waiter
Ryan, T. C. Engineers' Boy
Sandford, M. Trimmer
Savage, C. L. Boatswain's Mate
Seers, J. H. Hospital Attendant
Selby, W. A. C. Printer
Semple, W. Engineer
Shea, P. Fireman
Singleton, T. Fireman
Sloan, A. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Small, H. T. Trimmer
Smallwood, H. Kitchen Porter
Smith, A. Able Seaman
Smith, D. Carpenter
Smith, D. Chief Officer
Smith, H. C. Barkeeper
Smith, J. B. Master
Somerville, D. C. Engineer
Stainton, H. Engineer
Stamp, Fireman
Stanway, G. W. Boy Seaman
Stewart, J. Waiter
Storer, R. G. Barkeeper
Swanson, G. Fireman
Swift, D. Greaser
Taylor, T. W. Waiter
Taylor, W. R. Waiter
Third, J. W. Baker
Thompson, L. D. Steward
Thurtel, A. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S., Naval Gunner
Tilsley, W. Chief Baker
Toal, E. Fireman
Tomlinson, J. A. Steward
Toohey, O. Trimmer
Tougas, R. Trimmer
Towers, J. J. Deck Boy
Towler, S. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S., Naval Gunner
Tozer, G. H. Boy Seaman
Traynor, J. Donkeyman
Tufnail, O. C. Barkeeper
Vanton, M. Barber
Vertis, J. Steward
Walker, A. Engineer
Walker, C. P. Plate Sculleryman
Walker, T. Fireman
Walpole, N. Waiter
Watts, H. Fireman
Weldon, D. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S.
Wellings, W. Trimmer
Wignail, W. R. Fireman
Wilkinson, W. Fireman
Williams, D. B. Electrician
Williams, J. Greaser
Williams, J. Trimmer
Williams, J. Trimmer
Williams, L. L. Printer
Williams, R. Able Seaman
Williams, R. P. Fireman
Wilson, E. Officers' Steward
Wood, L. Able Seaman
Wooley, R. Fireman
Woolvine, A. F. Trimmer
Worrall, H. T. Deck Hand, D.E.M.S., Naval
Wright, F. S. Chief Steward
Wright, W. J. Barkeeper
Wu Chiu (Win Chin) Storekeeper
Yates, T. R. Steward
Zulch, A. R. Able Seaman



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