The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Regimental #:
- ‘B’ Company Headquarters
- Place of Birth:
- Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland
- Father's Name:
- Charles Jack Japp
- Mothers's Name:
- Mary Anne Japp (nee Bathee)
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Brewery Employee and Prospector
- Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
- ‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Tarsau, Konyu II, Chungkai, Nacompaton, Petchaburi, Nakom Chassi
- Return Details 1945:
- Thailand-Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Ciracassia
This soldier served in Royal Flying Corps as an AC II Class from 1919-1920. His Service No. 334883. Enlistment date was 25 August 1919.
Japp was selected in Singapore to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force S Battalion which departed by train for Bampong, Thailand about 14 March 1943. Following a harrowing 5 days travelling in crowded carriages the men stayed a few nights at the Konma Transit Camp before being trucked by the Japanese to Kanchanaburi. After a short stopover they moved to Tarsau which was soon to become the ‘D’ Force Admin Camp, and later their hospital Camp.
A Few weeks were spent at Tarsau clearing the way for the rail link. Life was not too unpleasant and in no way hinted at the hardship they faced thereon.
For Japp he would have considered himself fortunate to be in a work force with a large number of 2/4th men. They were next sent to Konyu II – where they began ‘slaving’ away on the Hellfire Pass Cutting. They faced long hours, tropical illnesses, ulcers, beatings and starvation.
It is not known if Japp moved on to other camps such as Hintok, Kinsaiyok, but at some point he was evacuated sick to Chungkai Hospital Camp.
When considered well enough, he was sent from Chungkai he went to Nacompaton Camp. He was selected here to go with a work party to Petchaburi and Nakom Chassi from where he was recovered after the end of the war. At Nakom Chassi Japp received a terrible beating for no reason from the Japanese guard known as ‘Scarface’.
Please read Affidavit by Tom Fitzgerald for War Crimes in the Matter of crimes committed by KIYOTO YUSAk, known as Scarface.
Gilbert was one of 4 children born to Mary Ann Bathee and Charles Jack Japp Carnoustie, Scotland.
Following his military service, Gilbert sailed to WA on the ‘Borda’ departing London 1st June 1922. His occupation was recorded at Jute Dresser and address – 29 Passmore St, Carnouthie, Forfarshire, Scotland.
He was recorded living and working years as a farmhand 1925, 1931 at ‘Eureka’ Farm, Emu Hill .
In 1936 until he enlisted he was living/working Widgiemootha as a labourer (another 2/4th soldier from Widgiemooltha was Eric Holst WX8678 who perished in Sandakan, Borneo).
Gilbert returned to Kalgoorlie region after the war.
Above notice was in Kalgoorlie Miner, February 1946
Gilbert married Alma Winnifred Hayes in 20 February 1946, Kalgoorlie. Alma was one of 3 girls and 3 boys and had been born and lived with her family in the mining areas around Kalgoorlie and Yilgarn. The couple continued residing here throughout their lives. Gilbert was employed with WAGR for a short time in 1963, however appears to have mostly worked as a miner and resided Carrington Street, Kalgoorlie. Gilbert died August 1972 in Kalgoorlie. He was 70 years of age. Alma died in 1994 and was also buried in Kalgoorlie.
It is not known if they had children.
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
- Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
- Petchaburi - Thailand
- Nakom Chassi - Thailand