Mary COOPER trained at the Adelaide Hospital, Dublin from 1935-1939, and enrolled into the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (Reserve) (QAIMNSR), November 1939. She embarked for service in the Far East 28 September 19411.

Nursing Service in WW2

206892 Sister COOPER, Mary, QAIMNSR was serving at the Alexandra Hospital, Singapore. She left Singapore on the SS Tanjong Pinang, which was sunk by the Japanese navy on February 17, 1942.

From Carrickmacross, Co. Monoghan. Interned in Palembang, Sumatra. In October 1942 she and Turner, Neubronner and Macalister were sent to work in a native hospital. In April 1943 , for no apparent reason they were imprisoned by the Kempetai in small cell in the local gaol and suffered great hardship. Released after about six months , Mary never really recovered from this ordeal2.

… died in the internment camp in Muntok 3 ….

She is mentioned in the diary of Phyliss Briggs: “The only other Q.A. with us was an Irish girl, Mary Cooper, whose hands were badly lacerated from sliding down the ship’s rope into the sea before getting into a raft4 …”.

She was the daughter of Patrick William and Ethel May Cooper of Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, Republic of Ireland. She died in captivity, June 20, 1945, and is buried in the Jakarta War Cemetery 6.H.8.15.


  1. The British Journal of Nursing, December 1945, p.143
  2. Moffett, J. Pether, M. & Kenneisan, B. (undated) Sumatra Internees version 1.1.0 (available from Malayan Volunteers Group Website)
  3. Pether, M. (2012) SS Kuala Researched Passenger List version 3.3.5 (available from the COFEPOW website)
  4. Phyllis Briggs’s War – A Nurse’s Wartime Diary: BBC People’s War WW2 Archive
  5. Commonwealth War Graves Commission