The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Zeeb
First Name:
Thomas William
Nick Name:
Tom
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX9379
Classification:
Cook
Company:
'B' Company Headquarters
Enlisted:
15.11.1940
Discharged:
12.01.1946
DOB:
4.11.1903
Place of Birth:
Brown Hill, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Father's Name:
'Charles' Karl Felix Zeeb
Mothers's Name:
'Elizabeth' Eleanor Blanche Zeeb (nee Hunt)
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Truck Driver
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi, Sime Road Camp, Changi Gaol Camp.
Force:
‘H’ ForceThailand, Group No. 3
Camps Thailand:
Kanu II Malayan Hamlet, Kanchanaburi (1.10.1943)
POW#:
4/6859
Return Details 1945:
Singapore-Darwin-Melbourne, lst Netherlands Military Hospital Ship Oranje, Melbourne-Perth by aircraft.

General Description

 

Tom Zeeb’s parents ‘Charles’ Karl Felix Zeen was born about 1870 Hagelloch, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany and married 1901, Boulder to Eleanor Blanche ‘Elizabeth’ Hunt who was born England about 1874.

The family resided at 66  Whitecliff Street, Brown Hill.  Charles was employed in mining.  Tom had at least one brother Barney and sister Jessie.

When Zeen (Snr) enlisted in WW1 on 18 April 1917 at Kalgoorlie and trained at Blackboy HIll, his Service No. 8088 ( his enlistment details state he had 5 children however this could be read as 3).  Zeeb (Snr) aged 42 years, 5′ 4″ tall, miner/drover with 6 years as a sailor joined Australian Tunnelling Corps – May Reinforcements Coy – later he joined 3rd Tunnelling Coy in France where he was gassed, returned to England before being discharged with debility on 8 August 1918.  Tom Zeeb would have been about 14 years old when his father enlisted, and no doubt working as most of the population did at that time.

In 1925 Electoral Roll – Tom was at Bridgetown, as were his parents – Tom and his father ‘Farmers’.

 

 

Tom farmed for at least 10 years, before selling.

in 1936 Tom was back at Kalgoorlie, at Metropole Hotel working as a miner.

 

After the war, Tom returned to Kalgoorlie and in 1949 is a boiler attendant, Hannan Street.

Tom’s mother died in 1947, and was buried Kalgoorlie.

 

 

The above correspondence was included in Zeeb’s (Snr)  Service File.  In a hand-written note, Zeeb wrote he lost all his possessions dressed only in underpants.

The Electoral Roll of 1956  includes Zeeb (Snr) residing at Sunset Men’s Hospital, Dalkeith, suggesting he moved here from Kalgoorlie for what would have been a short before he died in 1956, aged 80 years.

Karl Zeeb was very active with  Alluvial Miners in Kalgoorlie about 1899 – fighting to have the right to continue mining.  There were confrontation with Police who took up guard on areas they tried to mine. A number of miners, including Zeeb were arrested for various  charges, mostly ‘larceny of ore’.

Several thousand miners referred to as a ‘Belligerent force’  attempted rescue of those locked up and the Police were pressed to call for reinforcements.  The ringleaders of the rescuers, were sentenced to 12 months goal.

The angry miners gathered the next weekend for a mass protest where a a motion was passed demanding justice for the diggers  and pledged to take immediate steps to shake off ‘the intolerable tyranny inflicted in the goldfields residents by the Perth Parliament.

Those arrested were later found not guilty.  This information can be found ‘Sand & Stone Part 2, Pastoralists & Prospectors by Kevin Moran Pages 270-272.

 

___________

 

From Singapore where Tom Zeeb was a POW working on several Work Parties around the Island, he was selected  to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘H’ Force Thailand, Group 3.

Please read further about this Force

In about 1956, Tom married Fanny Elizabeth Burkin in Perth.  They lived at 66 Green Street, Joondanna for most of the next years and Tom was employed as a truck driver.

They had at least one son Kenneth Ralph who was residing with them in 1963 Electoral Roll, and working a a miner.

Fanny Elizabeth Zeeb died in 1979 aged 79 years and was buried at Karrakatta cemetery.

Thomas William Zeeb died in Perth 12 November 1978 aged 75 years.  As was his request, his ashes were scattered to the wind at Karrakatta Cemetery.

NB.  According to the above information at Karratta Cemetery, Zeeb was also known as William Thomas Zeeb.

 

 

Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Changi Aerodrome - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Sime Road Camp - Singapore
  • Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
  • Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
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