The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Purchon
First Name:
Leonard
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX8826
Classification:
Batman/Runner
Company:
‘E’ Company, Special Reserve Battalion No. 2 Platoon.
Enlisted:
23.10.1940
DOB:
27.07.1903
Place of Birth:
Castleford, Yorkshire, England
Father's Name:
George Purchon
Mothers's Name:
Catherine Purchon (nee Earl)
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Labourer
Memorial:
Epitaph, Singapore Memorial, Column 136, Age 38.
Cause of Death:
Killed in Action
Place of Death:
South-West Bukit Timah
Date of Death:
11.02.1942

General Description

Len Purchon was one of (5) boys and (3) girls born to George and Catherine Purchon, Castleford, Yorkshire, England who married in Yorkshire 1897.   Father George was employed as glassbottle maker. Castleford was well known for glass production.

In 1929  L. Purchon sailed to Western Australia from London on ‘Orford’ to Fremantle aged 26 years.   His occupation was recorded as glassblower.

 

 

In 1931 he was employed as a farm hand at “Huiffer Park” Miling.

In 1937 he was at Rothsay, employed as a labourer.  Rothsay, is part of the Perenjori Shire.

Rothsay was established in 1890’s  gold rush however closed about 1902.  The area experienced a second lease of life during 1930s when a company financed by the flamboyant mining entrepreneur Claude de Bernales reopened the mine in 1935. Although the mine operated productively for several years, water in the shaft caused problems and it was forced to close in 1939.

On enlistment he was a miner at Spargoville, located between Coolgardie and Widgiemooltha. It was a small settlement from 1890s goldrush of which nothing remains today – only abandoned mines. In 1939 there were 60 men employed at the mine with a shaft of 300 feet.

 

 

Len Purchon enlisted October 1940.  He later joined ‘E’ Coy as Batman/Runner.

Purchon was KIA at South West Bukit Timah when ‘E’ Company ran into a Japanese ambush, there was a tragic large loss of young lives.

Len’s mother died in 1935 Yorkshire and his father died in 1948.

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