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Boat permitted to leave Singapore Harbour by Japanese in 1942 with wounded British patients onboard


Can anyone please help name the boat that a Japanese officer allowed to leave harbour during the Fall of Singapore in 1942 in which the Captain of the ship was given a map of the mine field?


royal artillery soldier world war two


A son recalls his parents telling him that a Japanese officer permitted a boat, possibly a hospital ship, with wounded aboard, to leave Singapore Harbour during the fall of Singapore. The Japanese officer gave the captain of the ship a plan of the mine field around Singapore. It was the only ship allowed to leave. Unfortunately he cannot recall the name of the vessel. Whilst we know of those vessels that evacuated patients and nurses prior to the Battle of Singapore and the capitulation of the Allied Forces, we would love help with the name of this vessel.

Lance Bombardier Frank Holt Baines


His father, Frank Holt Baines, was reported missing in action on 15 February 1942 during the fall of Singapore according to his military records and was not reported until 18 April 1942 at British General Hospital Poona in India. He was in the Royal Artillery and arrived in Singapore 13 January 1942, his unit was 15 Battery 1st A.A. Regiment. On the 15 May 1942 he joined the 187th/67th H.A.A.regiment from Deolali after leaving Poona hospital on 04 May 1942.

Please contact me if you can help.


Below is the missing in action letter from the Officer i/c R.A. (H.A.A.) Records sent to his wife:

letter to family reporting missing soldier singapore 1941

It was dated 1st April 1942 and reads:

Dear Madam
Re: 1427339 – U/A/L/BDR BAINES Frank Holt
According to the records held in this office your husband was serving in Malaya when the garrison of Singapore capitulated on 15th February 1942.
Every endeavour is being made through diplomatic and other channels to obtain information concerning him and it is sincerely hoped that he is safe, although he may be a prisoner of war.
Immediately any information is obtained, it will be sent to you, but in the meantime, it is regretted that it will be necessary to post him as “Missing”.



In June his wife received this letter:

removed from missing in malaya letter to wife

It reads:

I am glad to inform you that your husband the above named has now been removed from the Missing List and therefore the previous notification reporting him Missing in Malaya should be considered cancelled.
The airgraph letter which you forwarded to this office is returned herewith.
Thanking you for your kind co-operation.



Frank Holt Baines enlisted on the 14 November 1938, his army number was 1427339 and his unit was the Royal Artillery Regiment RA (AA) 264. On the 17 November he was posted to 1/1 T.R. (which we think was a training camp). On the 4 March 1939 he was posted to 15/6 A.A. He soon joined the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in Europe and disembarked from England on the 15 September 1939 to France/Belgium we think. On the 29 January 1940 the 15/6 A.A. becomes the 15 Battery 1ST A.A. Regiment. The brigade proceeded to France with the BEF. In January 1940, 1st AA Regiment was transferred from the Royal Engineers to the Royal Artillery as 1st Searchlight Regiment and joined 5th Searchlight Brigade. When the Battle of France opened on 10 May 1940, 1 AA Brigade was attached to General Headquarters BEF, with the following composition:

Commander: Brigadier E.D. Milligan
1st Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA (equipped with 3-inch guns)
15, 16 & 17 Batteries
6th Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA
2, 12 & 18 Batteries
85th (Tees) Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA, (Territorial Army)
174 (North Riding), 175 (North Riding) & 220 (County of Durham) Batteries

On the 29 June 1940 15/6 A.A. becomes 15 Battery 1ST A.A. Regiment becomes 15th Battery 6th A.A. Regiment.

On the 1 June he was evacuated from Dunkirk as part of Operation Dynamo which took place from 27 May to 4 June.

Home in the UK he joined 15th Battery 6th A.A. Regiment.

On the 6 September 1940 he joined the 238the A.A. Battery (Bristol).

He was promoted to Lance Bombardier on the 22 February 1941.

On the 15 March he was reported as Absent Without Leave and reported back to his unit on the 17 March. On the 22 March he forfeited two days pay. AWOL in the UK was not uncommon over short periods of time; this was normally due to transportation problems. It was more than likely that as he would have been travelling from Hull back to Bristol or Crewe delays with trains etc would have resulted in late returning to camp. The loss of only 2 days pay, the time he was late, shows that it was nothing more serious to this.

He was posted to the Far East and moved to port to embark on the 11 November 1941.

He was granted W.T.P.P. (War Time Paid Promotion) with effect from ? on the 14 November 1941.

On the 24 December 1941 he was granted 3rd year increment in pay with effect from 14 November 1941.

He disembarked in Singapore on the 13 January 1942.

On the 15 February he was reported missing in action on the fall of Singapore during 8th – 15th February 1942.

On the 18 April he was reported located.

brothers world war two uniform

Pictured with his brother taken during 42/43. Frank was initially in hospital when his brother heard that he was there and paid him a visit. He was a driver.

On the 4 May he was discharged from British General Hospital Poona and reported to Deolali Depot.

On the 15 May he joined 187th/67th H.A.A. Regiment.

On the 02 November he was placed on X List 11 (all ranks evacuated on medical grounds beyond RAP (Regimental Aid Post).

On the 19 November he returned to 187th/67th H.A.A. Regiment.

On the 13 December he was placed on X List 1X (all ranks posted to fill vacancies in authorised WEs (War Establishments) of a 2 NZEF Headquarters.

He then returned to the 187th/67th H.A.A. Regiment though we have no date for this.

On the 13 December he was posted to 69th H.A.A Regiment.

On the 17 March 1943 he was placed on the X List 11 (all ranks evacuated on medical grounds beyond RAP [Regimental Aid Post).
<>br>On the 13 April he returned to 187th/67th H.A.A. Regiment,

On the 22 April he reverted back to the rank of Gunner at his own request.

On the 21 July he was placed on the X List 11 (all ranks evacuated on medical grounds beyond RAP [Regimental Aid Post)

On the 5 August he returned to the 187th/67th H.A.A. Regiment.

On the 19 August he was placed on X List 11 (all ranks evacuated on medical grounds beyond RAP [Regimental Aid Post).

On the 23 August he returned to 187th/67th H.A.A. Regiment.

On the 7 September 1943 he was placed on X List 11 (all ranks evacuated on medical grounds beyond RAP [Regimental Aid Post).

On the 18 December 1943 he returned to 187th/67th H.A.A. Regiment.

On the 27 May 1945 he joined the 5 IND H.A.A. REGIMENT I.A C.T.B.A.

On the 19 June 1945 he was placed on the X List CRO ???

On the 5 July he embarked Bombay Python.

From 25 July to 24 November he was posted to the BAOR (British Army of the Rhine) where he disembarked from the UK.

On the 27 July he joined E Battery Depot.

On the 25 November he was posted to P/A 72 TRANS CAMP D\S RZAKL ??

He was transferred to Y List ??? on 20 February 1946.

On 13 June he joined Section B RAR (Royal Artillery Reserves) Class A Release.

On 7 July 1952 he joined 56(M) AAFC Troop for training and completed this on 19 July.

On 30 June 1959 he was discharged from reserve liability.


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The Drummer Boy The Drummer Boy continues the adventures of QARANC nurse, Scott Grey, who has the special gift of seeing military ghosts. In this novel he is haunted by the ghost of a Gordon Highlander Drummer Boy from the Battle of Waterloo. It is based on the legends of the Tidworth Military Hospital Drummer Boy.


Chapters take place in modern day Aberdeen, at the Noose & Monkey bar and restaurant as well as His Majesty’s Theatre and Garthdee. Other scenes take place at Tidworth and during the Napoleonic War where I describe battlefield medical care of this era.


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