Sketch by Jack Chalker

Arriving in Singapore

Morning Tribune - Friday July 18 1941

People & Places

by Vera Ardmore

A very delightful family will join Singapore’s activities when the new Bishop, his wife and children settle down here.

At present Dean Wilson, Mrs Wilson and the baby Martin are up in Hong Kong where the Dean will be ordained on the 22nd of this month. They all return to Singapore in August (1941).

The two older children have stayed behind, the guests of Mrs Baxter. I met them there the other day and promptly became a Wilson fan.

Susan though only seven is the perfect little lady, most discriminating in all her tastes. When she is not quite certain whether she approves of a thing or not she raises her eyebrows with a self assurance that it takes most women at least forty years to achieve.

Kittens are one big love and life has taken on a new meaning since she became the owner of ‘Tiddles’.

People and Places

Tiffen at the Baxters

Susan and Timothy Wilson children of the Bishop-elect of Singapore, Ellizabeth and Josophine Scharff and Elizabeth Baxter

In her neat little frock and with her grave, quiet manner she looks a real Susan. What are the thoughts that underline your appealing gravity ?

Five year old Timothy seems completely unaffected by his older sister’s demure behaviour. He is the perfect imp, a Barry or Milne creation. His hair just will not stay put, his shirt and trousers just will not meet and he is constantly overwhelmed by his own ideas.

When asked his tastes in food, Timothy declared he could eat ‘everything in the world’. His entire philosophy seems to cover ‘everything in the world’.

Both children are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their parents and of their little brother Martin. who seems to be the apple of their eyes.

Elizabeth Baxter, the hostess’e daughter enthusiastically recounted how the baby’s cot literally had to be packed from under little Martin the Saturday before he left. He was lifted and placed on the big bed and lay there gurgling though just awakened from a lovely sleep.

The lunch party was completed by Elizabeth and Josephine Scharff whose parents will soon be returning from India.


Lady Hamilton Premiere

Mrs Baxter is of course best known for her fine work in connection with the Malaya Patriotic Fund of which she is secretary. She is now up to her eyes in work connected with the film premiere of ‘Lady Hamilton’.

This will be one of the major premieres yet staged. It is, in the first place, an outstanding picture starring Vivian Leigh and Lawrence Olivier, and in the second place, as far as I know, the first premiere to be held directly for the Malaya Patriotic Fund.

It’s peculiar how the same names keep cropping up in connection with good work. Its almost as if there were only a score or so who did anything worth while in Singapore.

Look at the list of Mrs Baxter’s helpers. Mrs E. A. Elder is in charge of sale of programmes and flowers.

One lady who usually shirks the limelight but who is working steadily since the war began is Mrs Max Baker. She has volunteered to pay for the cost of printing the tickets and will also be in charge of the sale of these.

As her assistant she will have Mrs Scrimgeour who though she has been very busy working  for charities all this year responded most willingly to this further call on her time and energy.

Mrs knuffman having worked hard at a charity show the night before sat down at a committee meeting the following day and promised to run the Bar. All drinks have already been donated so the bar will make a clear profit.

Mrs Lee Kong Chian has very kindly promised to pay for the cost of the programmes.

The Honorary secretary is Mrs W. L. Burton, who is putting in hard work in every direction and is already receiving a ready response to her appeal for donations. She has the Malaya Patriotic Fund very much at heart.

Other helpers are Captain R.J. Sheddon, Mr Max Baker, Mr W. L. Collins, Mr D. Beath (honorary Treasurer) and Mr S. S. Franklin who, with Mrs Baxter, is arranging the programme lay-out.

To-day’s proof that the works all right: Fifty tickets have been bought to be given to merchant seamen who are in port that night. Ten tickets have been sent to Talbot House Club and ten to the Union Jack Club.

Tickets are $4 and $2.50 reserved and $2 and $1 for unreserved and may be bought from the theatre (Cathay) or from Mrs Baxter (Tel. 80100) who will be glad to undertake the booking of seats and the delivery of tickets to anyone who has not the time to spare to go to the Cathay themselves. Booking is filling up already.

H.E the Governor will attend in person if he is not away from Singapore on that day also the Commander in Chief Far East, Sir Robert Brooke-Popham G.C. V.O.  K.C.B C.M.G. and the Commander-in-Chief, China Station, Sir Geoffrey Layton, K.C.B. D.S.O.


When the Japanese invaded, the Bishop’s wife Mary, their daughter Susan (aged eight) and two younger sons Timothy and Martin, escaped on a crowded boat to Australia where their third son James was born, Leonard stayed on in Singapore.


Vera Ardmore, who wrote the article, was Australian journalist Lorraine Stumm who escaped from Singapore and was later a distinguished war correspondent in New Guinea.


Newspaper article supplied by Stephanie Hesse



Prisoner Of War



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