Sister Elaine Balfour-OgilvyPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

The Children`s Library commemorates Elaine Balfour-Ogilvy who was killed in the massacre of nurses on Banka Island in World War Two.

Elaine Balfour-Ogilvy was born in Renmark, in 1912,  and was a member of a well known pioneer family with a remarkable record of war service. In 1940; as a trained nurse, she  enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force and was posted to Singapore in January 1941 and from there to Port Jackson on the Malay Peninsula and then Lampai in South Johore.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbour the Casualty Clearing Station was moved from Lampai to the Kluang airfield where an operating theatre and wards were set up under canvas. When it became obvious that Singapore would fall, many nurses despite their protestations were forced to leave the island. The 2/4th`Casualty Clearing Station, however, remained as a complete unit.

The 65 nurses in this Unit were evacuated on February 12, 1942; in the E.M.S, Vyner Brooke. On the 14th the ship was attacked by Japanese bombers, with many losing their lives either then or subsequently in the crocodile and shark infested waters while endeavouring to reach Banka Island.

Those including Elaine, who reached the island were forced to walk back into the sea by Japanese soldiers who using machine guns killed them. Only Sister Bulwinkel survived, by allowing herself, to be washed to and fro in the surf as though, dead. She was later taken into captivity, during which time she concealed the bullet hole in her frock with a slung water bottle, fearing otherwise that her story of the Banka massacre would be silenced permanently with her death.


Address:James Street, Renmark & Paringa Library, Renmark, 5341
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.169106
Long: 140.750059
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:16-February-1942
Actual Event End Date:16-February-1942


Front Inscription

The Elaine Balfour-Ogilvy Children`s Library

Plaque :

The Elaine Balfour-Ogilvy Children`s Library

This commemorative plaque is placed within the Childrens Section of the Renmark Public Library as a tribute to Sister Elaine Balfour-Ogilvy who lost her life in service to our country on 16th February, 1942, on the Island of Banka.

Elaine Balfour-Ogilvy was the youngest daughter of the late Mr. & Mrs. Balfour-Ogilvy , a pioneer family of Renmark.


Source: MA,NRUM
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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