Olga Mary Neubronner

Olga Mary Neubronner was Colonial Service Nursing Sister – Senior Superintendent, St .John’s Ambulance Brigade, Singapore. She survived the sinking of the Vyner Brooke. She was seven months pregnant and miscarried on Muntok Pier and was ill when brought into Muntok jail (according to the diary of Phyllis Briggs Olga had been on the “Kuala” but this may be an error). In October 1942 she was sent with Turner, Macalister and Cooper to work in a native hospital and did so until April 1943 when the Kempetai, for no apparent reason, put the four British sisters in small cells in the local gaol where they suffered great hardship although the local prisoners secretly gave them banana, cake and coffee. While in prison Olga started to write poems on her cell wall, one of which is below. After about six months they returned to Palembang camp but Olga never really recovered. She died in captivity at Muntok 2.3.45 aged 39. Wife of Guy Vivian Neubronner.

SINGAPORE by Olga Neubronner
Down the deserted docks they hurried
Underneath the tropic sun
Anxious mothers upward glancing
Ever urged their children on
Hark the sirens now are wailing
O’er the stricken city there
Flat upon their faces falling
For there is no shelter near.
Little ones in terror are silenced
For war has taught them not to whine
While in the blue sky death roars onward
Thank God ‘tis not the docks this time.
The ship left the shore as set the sun
And women wept silently
Far as dark came down, the Lion Isle
Was a terrible sight to see.
Fires ringed her round like a mighty crown
leaping to the lurid sky
Each thought of the man she left behind
Within the city, perhaps to die