To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Royal Navy-tn

Dominic Michael Stringer


1919/04/14 - Born Southern Ireland

Brought up in Glasgow

Teenage years around Cowcaddens and Maryhill


Dominic told a tale of being at/near the Naval Base and watching a Japanese tank come out onto the Causeway to investigate the damage done when the British tried to blow it up. He recalls a naval gun (believed on a merchant ship) hitting the tank and cogs flying everywhere!

Dominic was on board one of the last boats to escape Singapore, a water boat called “Daisy” that sailed on Friday 13th. February 1942 just before midnight. Daisy took six civilians (all Scottish), a petty officer and five ratings. She was commanded by a Captain Walmsley.

The civilians were all important people, managers or directors of local companies, one of which owned “Daisy”, Hammer and Co. They made their way to the mouth of the Djambi River in Sumatra. “Daisy” had too deep a draught to go upstream, but two RNVR launches (P10 and P12) came alongside and the complement of “Daisy” went upstream on board P10.  The Captain of P10 has been traced and photographs of Dominic were sent to him and he recognised Dominic in Navy Whites.

The complement of P10 and “Daisy” crossed Sumatra  and arrived at Padang and its port Emmerhaven. The men of P10 were evacuated with other military personnel and also those of P12 who had gone on before. The civilians who were on “Daisy” escaped on a ship called “Dumeyer van Twist” to Tilatchap and transferred to a larger vessel called “Zaandam”, which eventually arrived in Perth around the 6th. March 1942.

 It is believed virtually everyone who reached Padang and was evacuated went to either Ceylon or Australia.

The Petty officer and five ratings  whereabouts have not been traced


Reports on the Escape at the Fall of Singapore

Report No.73

Lieutenant Walmsley R.N.V.R

Rough Log of W/B “Daisy” of Hammer & Co. during and subsequent to evacuation of Singapore

Water Boat “Daisy”

Maps added by Ronnie Taylor

Singapore February 1942




During Thursday 12th and Friday 13th no notes made therefore times, events etc. are unreliable. From 11.45pm on latter date however, same were more definite.



Friday 13th

On both days evacuated men, women and children to various ships. W/B “Heather” assisting Special ships for “Daisy” being “Vyner Brooks” and “Giang Bee” on Thursday and “Kuala” on Friday. No close bombing on Thursday but while picking up evacuees on Friday afternoon were heavily bombed while alongside Teluk Ayer Godown (Laburnum Steps). No casualties on wharf but many at rear and approaches. Several stretcher cases put on board “Kuala”. While alongside “Kuala” heaving bombing again, many near misses. Watered several naval craft during afternoon. About 10 p.m. took many assorted British Troops (specialists) to either “TSO” or “Shu Kwang”, returned to Laburnum steps at 11.45 p.m.  receiving orders to leave Singapore as per prearranged instructions which were to follow naval tug (name forgotten) in company with “Heather”. Followed tug outside to off Peak Island.

Peak Island

Navigation very bad owing to heavy pall of smoke from oil instalations and all navigation lights extinguished.



Saturday 14th

About 12.30 a..m. (off Peak Island) tug signalled “is “Heather” following”, replied “no”. Tug signalled “Wait here am going back for her”. Waited till 1.30 a.m. and observed “Heather” against flare from Pulo Samoe oil installation. Signalled “have you seen tug”. Reply “no”. Decided proceed together, “Daisy” leading, as necessary to clear Durian Strait minefield before daylight. Daylight cleared minefield and anchored off island close inshore, deep water. W/B “Heather” proceeded to island further south, out of sight: did not sight her again during voyage (met crew later at Padang Besar. “Daisy’s” complement seven civilians including self, one naval P.O and five ratings.

About 9.30 a.m. observed tug with numerous other small craft proceeding southward, hove up and followed. Numerous Jap bomber flights overhead, during morning and early afternoon. No attacks.

Durian Island

Pulau means Island in Malay

About 2.30 p.m. anchored south of False Durian Island near tug and immediately bombed with one stick, several near misses. Tug signalled “follow me now, will require boiler water from you tomorrow.” Hove up and followed tug untill 11.30 p.m. then lost his stern light. proceeded till daylight with no charts and observed two fast naval launches P.10 and P.12. Followed them into mouth Djambi River. After sticking on bar about 10 minutes proceeded and contacted P10 and 12 at Moeia Satak, a few miles upstream. P10 and Dutch Harbourmaster on board evacuated from Thio. Held conference with him and two launch commanders and decided to proceed to Djambi town and find out situation as no telephone from Noeia Sabak. Managing Director of Hammer & Co. and self on P10 and remainder of “Daisy” to remain on board pro tem. Left about 10 a.m.. About 7p.m. observed many fires in direction of Djambi also many patches of burning rubber floating down on tide. Suspected Jap occupation and proceeded with caution, closed up at action stations. About 9 p.m. arrived off Djambi and found place apparently deserted. Anchored abreast and held further conference in light of flaming godowns. Rhio harbourmaster went ashore in native dugout and learned Japs in command Muntok Straits and believed approaching Djambi by sea and road. Arranged for native pilots for next day.



Monday 16th

Daylight P10 proceeded upstream to contact Dutch authorities at Moera Teboe and arrange lorry transport. P12 proceeded downstream to pick up remainder “Daisy’s” crew at Moera Sabak passing several lauches overcrowded with military including Briig. Paris “Celia”. About 2 p.m. picked up crew stores, etc,, scuttled “Daisy” and proceeded upstream. Anchored at nightfall.



Tuesday 17th


Proceeded and arrived at Djambi early afternoon. Went alongside wharf to interview Dutch Commandant, replenish water tanks and pick up native river pilot. learned Japs at Palembang. About midday proceeded upstream. Anchored for night.



Wednesday 18th

Arrived Poera Teboe about 11 a.m. berthing alongside P10 whose crew hasd proceeded. Billetted in army barracks for night.



Thursday 19th

About 10 a.m. proceeded in lorry to Sawahloento (Hill Station) arrived about 8 p.m. Billetted civillians in resthouse and naval party in Railway Station.



Friday 20th

At Sawahloento.



Daisy Journey-3

Saturday 21st

About 4 a.m. left Sawahloento in troop train, arriving Padang Besar about noon. Billetted in private house for night.



Sunday 22nd

Left Padang Vesar late at night in troop train (about 2 hours journey) to Emmahaven. Spent night in train and embarked before daylight on K.P.M collier “Duijman Van Twist”.



Monday  25th

Sailed about 8 a.m. for Tjilitchap. Arrived there, after uneventful passage, at Daylight March 1st. Sailed 10 p.m. in “Zaandam” arriving Fremantle on Friday March 6th about noon.


Report No. 22

G.M McMahon - Derrick & Co.

Ex Singapore on “Daisy” Waterboat

On 12th decided to go away with McArthur in water boar belonging to Hammers for whom Derrick’s were agents - Manager, Purvis P.B., Asst. Manager - J.G. Stewart.

The water boat “Daisy” 59 tons sister ship of “Heather”. These were the only two that got away, others were sunk or scuttled.


Captain Walmsley

Master Attendant’ office R.N. very good man and his steering excellent as he had no chart for the minefields.


Purvis P.B



J.G. Stewart



W. McArthur






John Dyce

Medical Hall



Gatty & Bateman


with six Naval ratings




Thursday 12th

The ship pulled out and McMahon, who was on shore, thought it had gone.

Friday 13th

“Daisy” had been ferrying soldiers and ratings from Blakan Mati on to destroyers.

Saturday 14th

Plan made for two water boats and a mine-sweeper and a Naval tug from Hong Kong (300 troops on board). We were told to go outside the Harbour and wait for these: lost them completely: Saw flares out along coast in Swimming Club direction which indicated Japanese landing and seeing these, we decided to get out and came to edge of mine-fields and waited: The “Heather” came up but others lost. We let through mine-fields about 8 a.m.: pulled in behind one island to lay up for the day - much food - along came tug and signaled follow on: several formations of bombers flew over toward Singapore; about 2 p.m. tug’s Comander ordered us to lay up behind island (Durian Island). Heard captain receiving instructions.

Then came 9 bombers, dropped bombs all around: tug seen lighting. crew jumped overboard swimming ashore. The aircraft circled and we feared machine-gunning and were ordered ashore by Walmsley, we got there in native sampans safely: all back again on board at 12 midnight: tug out on spurt and was soon out of distance. “Heather” too went on her own.

Sunday 15th

Morning - alone, came in sight of land 8 a.m.: 2 motor launches on horizon, both Naval craft from Singapore, could not attract attention, wanted chart, so we followed them through narrow strait. Found ourselves in Jambi River. Village at mouth of river: came up with launches.

10 a.m. - launches told them of the fall of Singapore heard over wireless. Capt. of launch was Acting Manager, Sun Life of Canada, R.N.V.R. - larnert F.E.W. ?

Decided to go to Jambi and found Resident leaving and burnt out - everyone gone. One launch proceeded and others followed, having scuttled “Daisy”.

Monday 16th

Left mouth of Jambi in morning by river 400 miles to Muara Teboe.



Thursday 19th

Arrived M. Also arrived Brig. Paris and his staff, 80 all told - complete staff and specialists who had come on “Celia”. Dutch Army Barracks supplied them with lorry. Thursday night there. (Faber H. - AP.C. did a marvelous job for them). Faber was last seen in Tjilichap, joined Dutch Army. (Walmsley was to see Mrs Faber in Perth).

Friday 20th

From Muara Teboe in lorries to Sawahloento, Col. Rosenback of Indian Army was organising things there.

Sunday 22nd

Left for Padang where met Bannatyne’s party and Proutt.

Monday 23rd

Left Padang in evening on the “Dumas Van Twist”.

1st March

From Tjilichap, we arrived in the morning, got on to Ramdamn same day, left at 10 p.m.

Gilroy at Tjilichap.

On way to Tjilichap stayed off bencoolen a day and a half waiting for news. Put Soldiers with septic wounds ashore at bencoolen.

from the “City of Manchester” Chief Engineer, Ship’s Doctor, reached “Zandamn”.

They said 3rd or 4th Engineer had been wounded and died later.




Signed - R.C. Dolbey  1942


Dominic reappears some nine months later in the West Indies. He arrived in Trinidad and met a man called Kenneth Simpson. Ken worked as a recruitment officer for the USED Marine division. He managed to get Dominic enlisted, although how is a puzzle as at the time America were not allowing foreign nationals into their armed forces.

During a conversation with Ken, Dominic told him he didn't fancy ocean going vessels again as he had pushed his luck far enough, having escaped three sinkings by torpedo!

Dominic  joined a tug called “Delamar” and went with it to Barbados where the tug  spent some time in dry dock being repaired. During this time Dominic met and married Evelyn. The wedding took place in the Cathedral in Bridgetown on January 30th 1943. The marriage certificate listed Dominic’s father as John Patrick Stringer.

1943 was spent on board either the “Delamar” (U.S.E.D) or “Wellandoc” (Alcoa Steamship Company). The postmark on letters home (no letters inside) show postmarks of British Guyana and Suriname. Dominic also mentioned Mobile.

In Dominic’s possessions was a tie, of which he was very proud, which he said he bought somewhere up the Amazon. However, the manufacturer's mark on it is for a Singaporean company!

Around the end of the 1943 the envelopes show return to sender. Man no longer on board. €¯Soon after wards Dominic visited his sister-in-law in her New York  apartment asking her to keep him from the authorities, to which she would not agree.

Being a boxing fan Dominic visited Jack Dempsy's Bar, something he was quite happy to recall.

Again, Dominic disappeared, eventually showing up in Montreal where he signed on a British Merchant ship from CanPool. Dominic’s movements can now be traced on various ships to the end of the war, all of them sailing around the Mediterranean.

Records from the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen when they were based in Cardiff useful.  A copy of part of a ship's log and also part of Dominic’s CRS10,  shows his date and place of birth as Eire 14 April 1919. Another document gives his place of birth as Dublin.

Dominic returned to Liverpool, England in the summer of 1945.

In the mid fifties Dominic returned to Glasgow to discover that his dad and brother had both died. His dad just two years or so earlier, his brother some time further back.




 Tower Hamlets

Research Continues.


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