The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Albert Leslie
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- ‘D’ Company, No. 15 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Perth, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Albert Tapper
- Mothers's Name:
- Mary Margaret Bain Tapper (nee Sinclair)
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Grocer and Farm Contractor
- Selarang Camp Changi
- ‘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
- Return Details 1945:
- Thailand-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore‐Perth, Duke of Gloucester’s aircraft 'Endeavour'.
Albert (Snow) Tapper enlisted AIF 30 Oct 1940 and later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘D’ Company No. 15 Platoon under commanding officer Lt. Meiklejohn.
Tapper later reported (after surrender) the wounding (and probable death) of Lt. Meiklejohn and Sgt Solly of 15 Platoon during fighting on first night of Japanese invasion of Singapore 8 Feb 1942.
Bert and Marj’s wedding in 1947 was quite a story. Coming from a dairy farm there were the usual morning chores with cows to be milked and calves to be fed etc. Marj then had a 4-hour shift at the local tea rooms in Busselton. It was a busy day as on Saturday many farmers came to town and stayed for lunch at the Tea Rooms. When her shift was finished, Marj walked to her bridesmaid’s house where they got dressed for the wedding ceremony. After the church there were photos at a studio but no fancy wedding attire due to war time shortages. An announcement had been placed in the local paper inviting everyone to the reception that evening at the local Hall.
Snow’s parents Albert Tapper (Snr) and Mary Margaret Bain 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”.
This Flight is believed to be that which brought terribly ill Sumatran POWS (airlifted to Singapore) to Perth.
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′ 9″
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 into north 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 55 Km Hospital Camp.
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.
- 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