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Ship's wheel clock commemorating the KRAIT's 'Operation Jaywick'

Date: c 1970
Medium: Wood, metal, clock movement
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Horrie Young
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Clock
Object No: 00032222
Place Manufactured:Taree

User Terms

    A clock in the shape of a ship's wheel commemorating the KRAIT's naval mission, 'Operation Jaywick' in Singapore, 1943. Gilt letters attached around the ship's wooden wheel read "Lest we forget".
    The face of the clock is white and sports black text, "Operation Jaywick Singapore Raid 27th Sept 1943 / "KRAIT"". A drawing of "KRAIT" is located directly underneath. The lower half of face has a list of names: H C Carse, R C Page, R G Morris, K P Cain, F W Marsh, D N Davidson, A Crilly, I Lyon, J P McDowell, H S Young, W C Falls, M Berryman, A W Huston, A W Jones. An emblem for "Z. Force" appears at bottom centre.
    On the reverse of the clock is written -"This clock was handcrafted by Norman Webster of Taree for Horace Young";
    "The timber & [iron fastenings ?] are part of the original timber taken from M V KRAIT."
    SignificanceThis clock was donated to the museum by Horace "Horrie" Young, one of the orginal crew members of the KRAIT.
    The clock was crafted by Norman Webster, a professional wood turner residing at Taree. "Mr Webster has
    been a tireless worker for Krait's memory and Operation Jaywick. He has made a great number of artifacts from the scrap timber which I retrieved from Krait following her major refit of some years back at Ballina Slipways. Most of these items have been donated to various Service and Ex-Service organisations for display in their mess-halls etc."
    HistoryOriginally a fishing vessel named KOFUKU MARU, KRAIT was built in 1934 in Japan and collected fish from fishermen and ports around the Rhio Archipelago, transporting the catch to markets in Singapore.

    In early World War II the vessel was confined to port and was used by Captain Bill Reynolds to evacuate hundreds of civilians to Sumatra and rescue survivors of ships sunk along the coastline of Sumatra and Malaya. It was renamed KRAIT, a deadly species of snake, and soon was central to the highly successful covert Operation Jaywick in September 1943. Under the cover of darkness and disguised as a Japanese fishing vessel, it took 14 men, 5 British and 9 Australian commandos and Z Special Force personnel, to within 20 miles of Japanese occupied Singapore undetected. Three pairs of operatives in folboats (folding canoes) used limpet mines to blow up and damage seven Japanese tankers and freighters, totalling 37,000 tonnes. A few days later the raiders and KRAIT met the rendezvous point successfully and all members of the unit were returned safely. It was commissioned HMAS KRAIT in 1944.

    After the war KRAIT was sold to a British saw miller for the Borneo timber trade and was renamed PEDANG (Sword). In the late 1950s two Australians, in Borneo for a business trip, recognised the vessel and set up a public appeal and trust fund to purchase the vessel. It returned to Australia in 1964 and was operated by the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol. In 1985 it was transferred to the Australian War Memorial and restoration work was completed by the Sydney Maritime Museum to return it to its wartime appearance. It has been on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum since 1988 and is the focal point for an annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

    In July 2011 one of the last surviving members of Operation Jaywick, RAN Leading Telegraphist Horace "Horrie" Stewart Young passed away.
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