Stevens Family

Mrs Edith Christie Stevens (nee Cobbett) and her daughter-in-law Sanat Stevens were aboard the Vyner Brooke when it was bombed and sank on 15.2.1942. They survived and were captured and interned at Muntok and Palembang. But after three years of captivity, Edith did not survive and died at Belalau on 22.6.1945. Edith was the widow of William Robert Stevens of 27 Tambun Road, Ipoh. They were married on 6th April 1899 at London, England, and had two sons: Raymond William Stevens
(1900–1981) and George Christie Stevens (1905–1952). William Robert Stevens died on 15 August 1921. He was a law book publisher.

Mrs Stevens appears in local newspapers at a number of dog shows in Ipoh and Singapore during the 1930s; also a dog breeder of ‘Tambun Kennels’ at 27 Tambun Road, Ipoh (ST. 8.12.35); she also must have been close friend of another passenger on the Vyner Brooke, Mrs. Myrtle Ward, since they showed dogs in the cocker Spaniel class in Ipoh.

In a letter written in late 1945 Myrtle wrote: “ … Mrs Stevens died in May [?] this year [1945] after being in hospital (so called) for almost a year …”. After the war Edith was reinterred (with the name Edith Christie Stevens – Corbett) in the Dutch cemetery, Kalibanteng at Semarang (Block/Row/grave number VIII-145).

While in the camp at Palembang, Sanat Stevens gave birth to a boy whom she named Christie. Both survived internment. Sanat Stevens was a Thai national born, Sanat Sukkaspar in 1909 at Chang Mai, Thailand; she died on 15 April 1993 at Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

After the war, her son Christie was sent to boarding school in Western Australia after his father was accidentally shot at the tin mine where he worked.

The Daily News; Perth, WA ; Friday 1 May 1953

CHRISTIE STEVENS is a sad-eyed boy from Malaya whose life has been mostly in an atmosphere of turmoil since he was born 10 years ago in a Palembang civil internment camp run by the Japanese.

The impact of terrorism in subsequent years reached its climax recently when his father was killed, His mother then decided to get Christie away from it all, and at 6:45 am today he arrived unescorted at Perth airport by Qantas Skymaster from Singapore to start a new life. A housemaster from Christ Church Grammar School met the airliner and took Christie to Claremont to resume schooling conducted with increasing difficulty at Ipoh.

Accidentally Shot By Sentry

Singapore, March 9. 1952, — George Christie Stevens, the manager of Idris Hydraulic Tin Ltd., of Kampar, near Ipoh, died from wounds today. He was accidentally shot yesterday by a sentry on watchtower duty. Mr. Stevens had been in Malaya for many years. He was married and had three children.

Before the war, Edith Christie was an ardent dog show competitor whose dogs often won prizes.