The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Percy Reeve
- Regimental #:
- ‘C’ Company
- Place of Birth:
- Midland Junction, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Thomas Claud Tomkins
- Mothers's Name:
- Lucy Mary Tomkins
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Yardman, Wood Cutter, Farmhand and Railway Employee
- Selarang Camp Changi, Thomson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp), River Valley Road, Selarang Barracks Changi.
- ‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Kanu II, Kanu I, Tarsau (evacuated sick), Non Pladuk
- Camps Japan:
- Yamane, Niihama
- 8850 & 1753
- Rashin Maru Party
- Return Details 1945:
- Wakayama‐Okinawa, USS Cape Gloucester, Okinawa‐Manila, USS Bingham, Manila-Morotai‐Darwin PBY Catalina aircraft A24‐355, Darwin‐ Perth B24 Liberator aircraft A72‐379.
Percy was with Toodyay 10th Light Horse prior to enlisting. Others in the above list who joined 2/4th included Eddie Kemp, Mick Geary who died illness Thai-Burrma Railway at Hindaine Camp.
Younger brother of Thomas Horace Tompkins WX7996.
Percy enlisted 16 Aug 1940, joined 2/4th’s ‘C’ Company 12 Platoon. His older brother Thomas Horace Tompkins b. 1912 enlisted same day, joining ‘D’ Company, later becoming a Lieutenant, sailing from Singapore with ‘A’ Force’s 3,000 Australian POWs May 1942 to South West Burma coast where they were split into three work parties to repair and enlarge the airfields at Victoria Point, Tavoy and Ye before making their way to the northern point of Burma-Thai Railway.
‘Tommy’ remained in Thailand where he was recovered at end of war. Green Force was the first Australian POW work party on the rail, commencing 1st Oct 1943 until end of 1943.
Percy left Singapore March 1943 with ‘D’ Force S Battalion to the Hellfire Pass Cutting. Please read further.
When rail link was completed by end of 1943, POWs were concentrated in several of the larger camps in Thailand including those who had worked in Burma.
Deemed ‘fit’ by the Japanese, Percy was selected to work in Japan with ‘Rashin’ Maru party – which included a large number of 2/4th. They arrived Moji, Japan following a 70 day hellish journey by sea, Percy was sent to Mitsui’s mines at Yamane and Niihama. He was recovered from Japan at the end of the war.
Percy had been working for Railway Department in Toodyay when he enlisted. He had grown up in Bunbury and West Swan.
Percy married 1941 at Northam to Eileen May Sinclair of Toodyay.
Below: Midland’s ‘Swan Express’ featured a series about local men who enlisted.
Below: Mrs Tompkins, mother to both boys received news in 1945 they are safe.
In 1954 and 1958 Electoral Roll resided Greenmount, Percy was employed as a moulder’s assistant. Brother Tommy wasn’t far away, he was residing Swan View, employed with Railways.
By 1968 and in 1979 Percy and Eileen had moved to Morley, where Percy had employment as a carpenter.
Percy was a Life Member of 2/4th MGB Association. Secretary from 1967 to 1978, Treasurer from 1979 to 1981 and President from 1982 to 1990.
Percy with Vivian Statham, (Formerly Sister Vivian Bulwinkle)
Percy died 15 December 2000, his wife Eileen died only a few months earlier.
Rockingham Foreshore 1988.
Above: Eileen Tompkins, –, Percy Tompkins.
- River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Thomson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp) - Singapore
- Kanu 1 151.00k - Thailand
- Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
- Non Pladuk, 0k - Thailand
- Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand
- Nihama, Hiroshima #2-B- Japan
- Yamane, Hiroshima #3-D - Japan