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William Rees


My father, Bill Rees, was a survivor of HMS Repulse. He died some years ago, but I'd be interested in hearing from anyone he remembers him. I'm not sure of the details of his escape from Singapore (I know he got out around Xmas Day 1941), but he went on to serve in the Feet Air Arm for remainder of WWII and was de-mobbed in Hong Kong in 1945. He went back into private practice in Wales (as a Chartered Accountant), and eventually ended up working in the Hong Kong Government for almost 20 years from 1952 onwards. He retired in 1971, returned to Wales, and died in Swansea in 1989. 

His widow, Barbara Rees, still lives in Swansea - and mainly for my mother's sake (and for my Dad's three grandsons), we would like to make contact with anyone who remembers Bill Rees as a young man in these tumultuous times. 

All we know is that he was mentioned in dispatches.

Citation of his mention in dispatches:
Writer W. Rees:

When the ship was listing heavily and about to sink showed great calmness in continuing steadily to wind the winch over Y space leading to the after medical station. Water was pouring down the hatch, his coolness under trying conditions enabled eleven men to escape of whom nine are survivors.

He wouldn't talk much about his memories - except the loss of a great friend on Repulse, Johnny Griffiths. But as a small child in the '50's, I well remember my father's nightmares, which were explained to us as "Don't worry, Dad's only been dreaming about the war again. He's woken up now". I suppose in these modern times, we'd call it post-combat trauma syndrome. But all this is part of the life of a dearly-loved father, that my brother and I know nothing about, and would like to get any information on (no matter how little) before it's too late. 

God bless all of you - casualties and survivors - for what you went through for us subsequent generations. 

Please contact myself or Andy (webmaster) with any information.

Phillipa J Rees

Andy Wade (Webmaster)

Information provided by
Phillipa J Rees