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Document Details


Title: Wilma Young
Document type: Oral history
Accessibility: Free Only
Repository: Victoria. State Library. Special Collections. Australian Manuscripts Collection
Collection: Victorians at War - Oral History Project
Description: Wilma grew up in the Glenorchy and Rupanyup area in Victoria. She began training as a nurse at the Warrnambool Base Hospital in 1934. In 1938 she transferred to the Jessie McPherson Hospital to work as a theatre nurse and later trained in midwifery at the Royal Women's Hospital. Wilma decided to join the army in 1940 and was sent to the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital to serve. She was posted overseas in September 1941 as part of the 2/13th Australian General Hospital Unit and sailed on the 2/2 HMS Wanganella to Singapore. She served in medical stations at Melaka and then Johor Baharu in the Malaysian Peninsular before evacuated from Singapore when the Japanese advanced. Wilma boarded the Vyner Brooke to sail back to Australia but the ship was bombed by the Japanese in the Banka Straight and sunk. She swam to shore only to be taken prisoner by the Japanese. She spent three years and eight months in various prison camps until released in 1945. Wilma was one of only a few nurses who survived the camps. After her release she spent time recovering in hospital in Singapore before sailing to Australia. She was discharged from the army in 1946 and was later to become the first female president of an RSL branch in Victoria.
Original Language: English
Audio: [Audio available]
Speaker: Young, Wilma
Speaker gender: Female
Speaker race: White
Speaker occupation: Military personnel; Nurse
Document date: Undated
Organizations discussed: Australia. Army
Historical events discussed: World War II, 1939-1945
Locations discussed: Australia; Oceania; Victoria, Australia
Topics discussed - ASP terms: Australia; Australia. Army; Australia--Armed Forces; Australia--History; Australia--Military policy; Military nursing; Oceania; Oral history; Victoria, Australia; Women soldiers--Australia; World War II, 1939-1945; World War, 1939-1945--Medical care; World War, 1939-1945--Veterans
ASP release: 2005-06
Document code: OHI0026776-28951