The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Percival John
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- ‘B’ Company Headquarters
- Place of Birth:
- Perth, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Frederick John Gibbs
- Mothers's Name:
- Susannah Gibbs
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Truck Driver
- Selarang Camp Changi
- ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Tamarkan, Chungkai, Hindato, Pratchinburi, Nakom Nayok, Lopburi, Bangkok
- Camps Burma:
- Victoria Point, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw, Khonkan, Augganaung.
- Return Details 1945:
- Thailand-Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Tamaroa
Percy enlisted AIF 18 Oct 1940 and later joined 2/4th’s B Coy Headquarters as a driver/mechanic. B Coy HQ was Commanded by Capt. Bunning.
‘Good Mates’ – Rob Sloane KIA 1942 Japanese bombing raid.
Percy was one of 10 children born to Frederick John Gibbs and Sussanah Batley. There were five girls and five boys. Percy was 7th child. His eldest brother Frederick George enlisted WW1 at 19.5 years and served 336 days abroad as a Gunner with 2nd Btn 1st Field Artillery Bridgade.
Percy married about 1936 at Canning to Dorothy Fagence and the couple had three daughters.
Percy was released Nakom Nai (Nayok) 17/8/1945. Thereafter travelled to Bangkok. Flight to Singapore.
Percy Gibbs was first cousin to Lacey Gibbs WX16407 and Jim Gibbs WX8958. Their fathers Jabesz and Frederick are brothers. Whilst Percy returned home his cousins lost their lives on 14 August 1944, South China Sea when ‘Rakuyo Maru’ was torpedoed by American submarines.
Percy continued to serve in the Army until June 1948. He had continually suffered headaches. These however became debilitating and he became TPI soldier.
Like so many other returned soldiers, Percy Gibb’s health remained fragile. He was often hospitalised at Hollywood Repatriation Hospital.
For a long time Percy held an honorary job as timekeeper for the police boys boxing tournaments. He was also one of the official timekeepers at the Perth Commonwealth games in the 60’s.
He suffered his first stroke in about 1965 and died at Hollywood Hospital having suffered a heart attack in 1968 aged 59 years.
Percy loved his family including his three daughters and lived to see them each married. He was able to enjoy his grandchildren, 6 granddaughters and one grandson. (A further two granddaughters and one grandson were born after Percy’s death).
Percy was selected with ‘A’ Force Burma Green Force No. 3 Battalion whilst at Singapore to work on the Burma end of Burma-Thai Railway. ‘A’ Force made up of 3,000 POWs sailed from Singapore on 14 May 1942 for the south-west coast of Burma where they were to first to work on repairing and enlarging the airfields at Victoria Point, Tavoy and Ye before making their way to the beginning of the rail in Burma, Thanbuyzuyat.
Percy’s cousins Jim and Lacey were selected as ‘fit’ to work in Japan, however Percy was fortunate. He was sent to Tamarkan in Thailand from Burma when the rail was completed at the end of 1943. Percy appears to have been sick and was sent to Chungkai Hospital Camp. Later he was sent to Hindato, Pratchinburi, Nakom Nayok, Lopburi and was recovered from Bangkok when the war ended.
Percy placed a death notice in newspaper for his mate George Stone, who died of illness March 1944 at Tamarkan Hospital, Thailand. Stone who was a reinforcement, also worked on railway in Burma.
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
- Lopburi - Thailand
- Nakom Nayok, Nakhon Nayok - Thailand
- Pratchinburi - Thailand
- Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
- Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
- Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
- Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
- Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
- Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma