Service No- WX9157
Division- 2/4 Machine Gun Batallion
Enlisted- 30 October 1940
Discharged- 17 April 1946
Date of Death- 23 May 1983
Age at Death- 65
Burial Location- Crem. Main Path- Row D.
My father was ALBERT LESLIE TAPPER b. 11 Dec 1917, North Perth, WA, son of Albert and Mary Tapper. In 1933 he enlisted with the Senior Cadet Corps affiliated with the 13th Field Company, Army Engineers. He remained with the the Cadet Corps until 1939 when he was discharged and then enlisted in the AIF. At the time of enlistment he was working in Bridgetown, WA. On Enlistment at Claremont, WA he was posted to the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion.
He become part of D Company, No. 15 Platoon. He was part of the Battalion march from Northam back to Perth. The Battalion was sent to Woodside in South Australia prior to movement to Darwin in 1941. From Darwin the Battalion was sent as reinforcements to Singapore and left Darwin onboard the ship “Aquitania” sailing first to Sydney then onto Fremantle.
The 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion disembarked at Singapore on 26 Jan 1942. This Battalion experienced heavy fighting mainly in the Northwest of the island where 133 men from the 2/4th were killed and 177 were wounded.
Following the surrender of Singapore Albert Tapper became part of ‘A’ Force in Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion. ‘A’ Force was the first group to leave Singapore and the trip to Burma was a nightmare aboard the “Toyohashi Maru”.
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.
After the recovery and liberation he was admitted to St Pat’s Hospital in Singapore and then evacuated from Singapore to Perth on the Duke of Gloucester’s aircraft “Endeavour”.
Following his discharge from Hollywood Hospital Bert travelled to Busselton and Yoongarilup to visit his army mate Les (Slim) Pitts and at this time met his future wife, Kathleen Marjory Woodward. Bert and Marj married in 1947. They settled on a dairy farm in Yoongarilup and in 1957 sold the farm and moved to Bunbury. Bert and Marj had 7 children.
Albert Leslie Tapper died 23 May 1983 in Perth. He was returned home to Bunbury and cremated with his ashes placed in the rose garden in Bunbury Cemetery. A memorial plaque is on the wall of the War Memorial Gardens in Nedlands, Perth, WA. He is also remembered on the Prisoner of War Memorial in Ballarat, Victoria.
Margaret Thompson (nee Tapper) “Daughter”