|Namesake:||Sir Charles Vyner Brooke|
|Owner:||Sarawak Steamship Co|
|Operator:||Ritchie & Bisset|
|Port of registry:|
|Route:||Kuching – Singapore|
|Builder:||Ramage & Ferguson Ltd, Leith, Scotland|
|Fate:||sunk by aircraft, 14 February 1942|
|Length:||240.7 ft (73.4 m)|
|Beam:||41.3 ft (12.6 m)|
|Draught:||16 ft 2 3⁄4 in (4.95 m)|
|Depth:||16.1 ft (4.9 m)|
|Installed power:||297 NHP|
|Speed:||12 knots (22 km/h)|
SS Vyner Brooke was a Scottish-built steamship that was both the royal yacht of Sarawak and a merchant ship frequently used between Singapore and Kuching. She was named after the 3rd Rajah of Sarawak, Sir Charles Vyner Brooke. At the outbreak of war with Japan the ship was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and armed.
A steamship, often referred to as a steamer, is a type of steam powered vessel, typically ocean-faring and seaworthy, that is propelled by one or more steam engines that typically move (turn) propellers or paddlewheels. The first steamships came into practical usage during the early 1800s; however, there were exceptions that came before. Steamships usually use the prefix designations of "PS" for paddle steamer or "SS" for screw steamer. As paddle steamers became less common, "SS" is assumed by many to stand for "steam ship". Ships powered by internal combustion engines use a prefix such as "MV" for motor vessel, so it is not correct to use "SS" for most modern vessels.
A royal yacht is a ship used by a monarch or a royal family. If the monarch is an emperor the proper term is imperial yacht. Most of them are financed by the government of the country of which the monarch is head. The royal yacht is most often manned by personnel from the navy and used by the monarch and his/her family on both private and official travels.
Sarawak is a state of Malaysia. Being the largest among 13 other states with the size almost equal to West Malaysia, Sarawak is located in northwest Borneo Island, and is bordered by the Malaysian state of Sabah to the northeast, Kalimantan to the south, and Brunei in the north. The capital city, Kuching, is the largest city in Sarawak, the economic centre of the state, and the seat of the Sarawak state government. Other cities and towns in Sarawak include Miri, Sibu, and Bintulu. As of the 2015 census, the population of Sarawak was 2,636,000. Sarawak has an equatorial climate with tropical rainforests and abundant animal and plant species. It has several prominent cave systems at Gunung Mulu National Park. Rajang River is the longest river in Malaysia; Bakun Dam, one of the largest dams in Southeast Asia, is located on one of its tributaries, the Balui River. Mount Murud is the highest point in Sarawak.
Ship designed by naval architect F.G Ritchie OBE, of Ritchie & Bisset, Singapore. Ramage & Ferguson of Leith, Edinburgh's harbour area, built the ship, completing her in February 1928. The launch by Her Highness the Ranee was scheduled for 10 November 1927 at Leith.The ship sailed from Leith for Singapore on 17 April 1928.
Ramage & Ferguson was a Scottish shipbuilder active from 1877 to 1934, who specialised in luxury steam-yachts usually with steel hulls and timber decks. They also made several notable windjammers including the stunning five-masted København.
Leith is an area to the north of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, at the mouth of the Water of Leith.
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian, it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore.
Vyner Brooke was flush decked with 'tween decks, all steel sheathed in 2.5 in (6.4 cm) with six watertight bulkheads. The main deck was as clear as possible of structures for deck passenger use with accommodations forward for crew and aft for stewards, clerks and ship's boys. The refrigeration plant, designed to keep the cold store two degrees below freezing, was located on the main deck. Cabins amidships on the upper deck provided for 44 first-class passengers with a 40 ft (12.2 m) by 24 ft (7.3 m) saloon forward of the cabins. A staircase at the after end of the saloon led to a shade deck and two de luxe cabins and a private sitting room. The ship was equipped with wireless and carried lifeboats, rafts and lifebelts for 650 people and could carry at least 200 deck passengers.
She was 1,670 GRT had six corrugated furnaces with a combined grate area of 124 square feet (12 m2) that heated two single-ended Barclay, Curle & Co. boilers with a combined heating surface of 4,390 square feet (408 m2). These fed steam at 180 lbf/in2 to a three-cylinder triple expansion steam engine built by Ramage and Ferguson. The engine was rated at 297 NHP and drove twin screws.
Gross register tonnage or gross registered tonnage, is a ship's total internal volume expressed in "register tons", each of which is equal to 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3). Gross register tonnage uses the total permanently enclosed capacity of the vessel as its basis for volume. Typically this is used for dockage fees, canal transit fees, and similar purposes where it is appropriate to charge based on the size of the entire vessel.
The pound per square inch or, more accurately, pound-force per square inch is a unit of pressure or of stress based on avoirdupois units. It is the pressure resulting from a force of one pound-force applied to an area of one square inch. In SI units, 1 psi is approximately equal to 6895 N/m2.
A propeller is a type of fan that transmits power by converting rotational motion into thrust. A pressure difference is produced between the forward and rear surfaces of the airfoil-shaped blade, and a fluid is accelerated behind the blade. Propeller dynamics, like those of aircraft wings, can be modelled by Bernoulli's principle and Newton's third law. Most marine propellers are screw propellers with fixed helical blades rotating around a horizontal axis or propeller shaft.
Cargo was handled by two three ton cranes at each hatch with a heavy, twenty ton derrick.
At the beginning of the war in the Pacific Vyner Brooke was requisitioned by the Royal Navy, painted gray and armed with a four-inch deck gun forward, two Lewis guns aft and depth charges.The ship's Australian and British officers were mostly Malay Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and had been asked to remain aboard the now HMS Vyner Brooke. The ship's company, under the command of her peacetime captain, Richard E. Borton, was augmented by reservists, some survivors of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse and European and Malay professional sailors.
The Lewis gun is a First World War–era light machine gun of US design that was perfected and mass-produced in the United Kingdom, and widely used by troops of the British Empire during the war. It had a distinctive barrel cooling shroud and top-mounted pan magazine. The Lewis served to the end of the Korean War. It was also widely used as an aircraft machine gun, almost always with the cooling shroud removed, during both World Wars. "The Lewis Gun is the most recognized classic light machine gun in the world."
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On 14 February 1942 in World War II, while evacuating nurses and wounded servicemen away from Singapore she was bombed by Japanese aircraft and sunk. Some of the survivors who reached Bangka Island east of Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies were massacred by the Imperial Japanese Army. Others were imprisoned in Palembang and Muntok POW camps.
Vyner, Rajah of Sarawak, GCMG was the third and last White Rajah of Kingdom of Sarawak.
Lieutenant-Colonel Vivian Bullwinkel, AO, MBE, ARRC, ED, FNM was an Australian Army nurse during the Second World War. She was the sole surviving nurse of the Bangka Island Massacre, when the Japanese killed 21 of her fellow nurses on Radji Beach, Bangka Island (Indonesia) on 16 February 1942.
The Bangka Island massacre was committed on 16 February 1942, when Imperial Japanese soldiers machine-gunned 22 Australian Army nurses and 60 Australian and British soldiers and crew members from two sunken ships. Vivian Bullwinkel was the sole survivor of the nurses; two soldiers survived.
The White Rajahs were a dynastic monarchy of the British Brooke family, who founded and ruled the Kingdom of Sarawak, located on the north west coast of the island of Borneo, from 1841 to 1946. The first ruler was an Englishman James Brooke. As a reward for helping the Sultanate of Brunei fight piracy and insurgency among the indigenous peoples, he was granted the province of Kuching which was known as Sarawak Asal in 1841 and received independent kingdom status.
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The Sarawak Rangers were a para-military force founded in 1862 by the second White Rajah of the Kingdom of Sarawak, Charles Anthony Johnson Brooke. They evolved from the fortmen which were raised to defend Kuching in 1846. The Sarawak Rangers were first commanded by William Henry Rodway, briefly in 1862 and again from 1872 to his retirement in 1881, and were highly skilled in jungle warfare and general policing duties, being equipped with various western rifles, cannons and native weaponry.
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The Borneo Evangelical Mission was a Protestant Evangelical Christian missionary society that worked among the people of Borneo, Malaysia. It was founded in October 1928 by three Australian missionaries, Hudson Southwell, Frank Davidson and Carey Tolley. In 1975 the BEM merged with Overseas Missionary Fellowship.
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Chelosin was a steel-hulled, steam-powered passenger-freighter vessel that served in coastal British Columbia from 1911 to 1949, under the ownership of the Union Steamship Company of British Columbia.
Irene Melville Drummond (1905-1942) was a nurse in the Australian Regular Army who was killed in the Banka Island massacre. She joined the Australian Regular Army in 1940. She was called up for full-time duty with the 2nd/4th Casualty Clearing Station in January 1941, and in February of that year she went to Singapore to join the 2nd/9th Field Ambulance. She was promoted to army matron on August 5 and posted to the 2nd/13th Australian General Hospital in September 1941. In January 1942 the hospital she worked at was moved to St Patrick's School, Singapore, due to the Japanese invasion of Malaya. On 12 February 1942 the Sarawak royal yacht Vyner Brooke left Singapore just before the city fell to the Imperial Japanese Army. The ship carried many injured service personnel and 65 nurses of the Australian Army Nursing Service from the 2/13th Australian General Hospital, as well as civilian men, women and children. The ship was bombed by Japanese aircraft and sank.
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