The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Tapper
First Name:
Albert Leslie
Nick Name:
Snow
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX9157
Company:
‘D’ Company, No. 15 Platoon
Enlisted:
30.10.1940
Discharged:
17.04.1946
DOB:
11.12.1917
Place of Birth:
Perth, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Albert Tapper
Mothers's Name:
Mary Margaret Bain Tapper (nee Sinclair)
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Grocer and Farm Contractor
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi
Force:
‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tamarkan, Chungkai, Nacompaton, Rin Tin, Nacompaton, Bangkok
Camps Burma:
Khonkan 55km Hospital Camp (medical orderly) Victoria Point, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw 14km, Meiloe 75km, Aunggaung 75km
POW#:
1523
Return Details 1945:
Thailand-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore‐Perth, Duke of Gloucester’s aircraft 'Endeavour'.

General Description

Tapper Family ANZAC 2010 to River Kwai Thailand. Margaret 2nd from left wearing Albert's medals.
Tapper Family ANZAC 2010 to River Kwai Thailand. Margaret 2nd from left wearing Albert’s medals.

Albert Leslie Tapper, c1940 002

Pte A.L.(Bert) Tapper with friend 001

A.L.Tapper, Discharge certificate

 

 

Bert & Marj Tapper, Bunbury Memorial Gardens(1)

 

 

Snow’s parents Albert Leslie Tapper (Snr) and Mary Margaret Bane Sinclair married in Esperance in 1913.

In 1933 Snow enlisted Senior Cadet Corps affiliated with 13th Field Company, Army Engineers.  He remained with the the Cadet Corps until 1939 when discharged.   He enlisted AIF October 1940 while working in Bridgetown.

After recovery and liberation he was admitted to St Pat’s Hospital in Singapore then evacuated from Singapore to Perth on  Duke of Gloucester’s aircraft “Endeavour”.

Following his discharge from Hollywood Hospital Bert travelled to Busselton and Yoongarilup to visit his army mate Les (Slim) Pitts He met his future wife, Kathleen Marjory Woodward. Bert and Marj married in 1947 and settled on a dairy farm in Yoongarilup.   In 1957 they sold the farm and moved to Bunbury.  Snow was employed as a Waterside Worker until at least 1980.  The couple had  7 children.

Snow passed away aged 65, May 23 1983, Hollywood Hospital, Perth.  His body was returned to Bunbury for cremation and his ashes placed  at the Rose Garden, Bunbury Cemetery.

Height 5′ 4 3/4″

 

__________

 

Tapper later reported (after the surrender) the wounding (and probable death) of Lt. Meiklejohn  and Sgt Solly of 15 Platoon during the fighting on first night of Japanese invasion of Singapore 8 Feb 1942.

You can read about Meiklejohn WX9393 

As a POW at Singapore Tapper was selected to work on  the Burma end of  Burma-Thai Railway with 3,000 POWs of ‘A’ Force Burma Green Force No,. 3 Battalion. Aboard the “Toyohashi Maru” Tapper sailed from Singapore March 1942 with Green Force to Victoria Point, south west Burma where POWs would work several months on repairing and improving the existing airfield before moving further north in Burma to start work on the rail link 1 October 1942.

We cannot be absolutely positive which camp Tapper worked  when he injured his arm however Khonkan was not established as a hospital Camp with Albert Coates until July 1943.
We estimate Tapper worked with Green Force at Kendau, Thetkaw, Meiloe and Aunggaung – the latter being where he injured his arm.

Following a severe injury and fracture to his wrist Albert (Bert) Tapper was sent to assist Dr. Albert Coates where he performed the duties of a Medical Orderly at Khonkan.

At the end of 1943 and the completion of rail link, the Japanese began moving all POWs in Burma southwards into Thailand.  Tapper was sent Tamarkan, then onwards to Chungkai, Nacompaton.  He worked at Rin Tin then returned to Nacompaton where he was recovered from at end of war.

 

 

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
  • Rin Tin, Lin Tin 180k - Thailand
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
  • Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
  • Khonkan, 55Kilo Hospital 360k - Burma
  • Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
  • Tavoy (Dawei) - river port - Burma
  • Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
  • Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma
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