The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Thomas William
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
'B' Company Headquarters
Place of Birth:
Brown Hill, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Father's Name:
'Charles' Karl Felix Zeeb
Mothers's Name:
'Elizabeth' Eleanor Blanche Zeeb (nee Hunt)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Truck Driver
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi, Sime Road Camp, Changi Gaol Camp.
‘H’ ForceThailand, Group No. 3
Camps Thailand:
Kanu II Malayan Hamlet, Kanchanaburi (1.10.1943)
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 Zeeb 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, WA Goldfields.  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’.  The Zeeb family according to Electoral Rolls, were at Bridgetown between 1922 to approx. 1938 when Elizabeth moved to West Leederville.  Tom moved to Kalgoorlie.


Tom farmed for at least 10 years, before selling.
in 1936 Tom was back at Kalgoorlie, staying at the  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.  We are unsure of his father’s death however we know he was alive in 1955.



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

Below: Tom gains newspaper attention donating his 1/- for the war funds.  1/- he would not be spending on crackers for Guy Fawkes night.

Below:  Tom and his mother visit Bridgetown


Above:  From Blackwood Times – Tom is visiting Bridgetown.



You can read further about Tom


Camp Locations:

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  • 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