Wilma Young AM

Wilma Young was a World War II veteran, providing decades of community work with the RSL and war veterans.

Honour Roll

Wilma Young was born at Glenorchy, Victoria, on 17 August 1916. Her young life and schooling as one of five children was spent at Rupanyup and Murtoa, in rural Victoria. Her father had a wheat farm.

In 1934, she became a trainee nurse at the Warrnambool Base Hospital. After graduating in 1937, she moved to Melbourne to work for some time before training to become a midwife.

In 1941, following the declaration of World War II in 1939, Wilma applied to join up as a trained nurse and was accepted into the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS). In September 1941, as a member of the 13th AGH, she sailed into Singapore. After some weeks there, in the 13th AGH, she joined with the 24th Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) to set up an ill-equipped hospital at Johore Bahru (now in Southern Malaysia).

Just before the fall of Singapore in February 1942, Wilma, along with other Australian nurses, was evacuated aboard a small vessel, the Vyner Brooke, which was sunk by the Japanese in the Bangka Strait off Sumatra. She became a prisoner-of-war until 1945.

After the war Wilma married and settled on a dairy farm at Cardinia in Victoria. She had four children and worked from that time with the RSL, particularly with war veterans.