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General Information
  Introduction
  Introduction
  How it works?
  How it works?
  The Anatomy
  The Anatomy
  Meet the Team
  Meet the Team
  The Gears
  The Gears
  Expedition Log
  Expedition Log
  Expeditions Schedule
  Expeditions Schedule
  Forms
  Forms
  Episode Overview
  Episode Overview
  The Empress of Asia
  The Empress of Asia
  The Quest for Truth
  The Quest for Truth
  Prisoners & Warriors of the Sea
  Prisoners & Warriors of the Sea
  The Ultimate Disaster
  The Ultimate Disaster
  Sinking the Unsinkable
  Sinking the Unsinkable
  Yellow Coals from the Deep
  Yellow Coals from the Deep
Assistance & Sponsership
Assistance & Sponsership
  Governmental Endorsement
  Information, Literature, etc
  Manpower
  Safety and Security
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  Press & Media
  Media Coverage
  Media Coverage
 
 
 
 
 
 

| Information | Reports | Media Coverage | Episode Preview


THE EMPRESS OF ASIA
Story of an Empress and her Men

Introduction

A luxury liner built by Canadian Pacific Railways in 1912, the Empress of Asia today lies embedded 70 feet deep five nautical miles off Singapore.

It was transporting 2,200 British soldiers from Bombay to Singapore when it was bombed and sunk on 5 Feb 1942.

Diving expert Michael Lim rediscovered the wreck in 1993.

In 1998, Lim led an artifact recovery expedition. Finds included army uniforms, machine guns, china, and a four-tonne anchor. These items were donated to the Singapore History Museum.

Objective of the documentary:
A Periscope production, the documentary will tell the story of The Empress of Asia before it is buried forever by the Singapore government’s reclamation works.


History

Built in 1912, the Empress of Asia was a luxurious passenger liner commissioned by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to operate between Vancouver and Yokohama as part of a wider project to create an ocean link across the pacific.
In her trans-pacific journeys, she contributed much to the growth of tourism and trade in Vancouver and Victoria. In addition, the Empress carried immigrants from China to Vancouver.
 
 


However, she was soon commissioned by Her Majesty of England’s Government as an armed merchant cruiser and troopship during World War One. After the war she resumed her services as a luxury liner.

The outbreak of World War Two saw the Empress of Asia once again requisitioned as a troopship. She was almost 30 years old and at the end of her sea-going life, but due to very heavy shipping loses she was urgently needed.

It was in the course of these duties that the Empress of Asia arrived in Singapore, from Bombay, on 5 February 1942. It was, however, to be the Empress of Asia’s last journey.

 
 
 
 
 
SYNOPSIS
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Race against time – documenting and artifact recovery before the ship is permanently buried by the Singapore government’s land reclamation project.  
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Beginnings as a luxury liner, maiden voyage – historical documentary clips, photos, other primary source documents etc. Interviews of people or descendants of people who traveled/worked on the ship.  
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Contribution to the emergence of Victoria and Vancouver as cargo and tourists centers  
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Journeys of Chinese immigrants to Canada  
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Role played by the Empress during the 1930s Tokyo quake  
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Evacuation of survivors from Shanghai in 1937 during the Sino-Jap War  
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Part of a last ditch attempt by the British to save Singapore.  
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Bombing attack on 5 Feb 1942 – historical documentary clips and newspaper clippings  
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Interviews with survivors and/or descendants of survivors – who were interned at Changi prison and also helped at the hospital during the war.  
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Recovery of artifacts; burial of Empress; lying of wreath by survivor of wreck.  

TREATMENT

The Empress tells us the story of her life, traced through the personal experiences and journeys of various passengers that sailed with her. Stories from her maiden voyage, her voyages as a luxury liner, as a transport for immigrants, her adventures in World War I and II, and her experiences as a rescue vessel and troop carrier, all creating a colorful life. Stories told by survivors and their descendants, through interviews, photographs, diaries, memorabilia and re-enactments.

We trace her journey from the shipyard in Glasgow, Scotland, to her home base in Canada, through her journeys to the Far East and other adventures.

The Stories

The Shipbuilder
The Wealthy Passenger
The Ship’s Crew
The Immigrant
The Missionary
The Quake Survivor
The Soldier
The Captain’s Runner

 

 
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