WATKINS LAPHAM updated 2009

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  • ID: I0093
  • Name: Alfred George (Dick) Lapham
  • Sex: M
  • ALIA: Dick /Lapham/
  • Birth: 19 OCT 1912 in AML BB Reg Winterbourne Chipping Sodbury
  • Death: 1 JUL 1945 in Royal Australian Army (Prisoner of Japanese)
  • Burial: AFT 1 JUL 1945 17 D 16 Ambom War Cemetary Indonesia
  • Event: Service number 6 JUL 1940 NGX97 Australian Army
  • Event: Lived JUL 1945 AUBURN, VIC WAU, TERRITORY OF NEW GUINEA
  • Event: Lived 4 MAR 1932 C/o J Temperley Tully North Queensland
  • Event: Rank 1 JUL 1940 Sapper 2/11 Field Company RAE
  • Event: Enlisted 6 JUL 1940 WAU TERRITORY OF NEW GUINEA
  • Event: Worked BET JAN 1934 AND 11 JUL 1937 C/o Bulolo Gold Dredging, Bulolo, New Guinea
  • Event: Work 4 MAR 1932 Driving a team of horses to cart stones from the creek to the cow yard
  • Reference Number: 93
  • Note:
    http://yard.ccta.gov.uk/cwgc/register.nsf/wwwcreateservicedetails?openagent&2171510
    In Memory of
    ALFRED GEORGE LAPHAM
    Sapper
    NGX97
    A.I.F. 2/ll Field Coy., Royal Australian Engineers
    who died on
    Sunday, 1st July 1945. Age 32.
    Additional Information: Son of Alfred Thomas Lapham and Florence Caroline Lapham, of Pilning, Bristol, England.


    Commemorative Information
    Cemetery: AMBON WAR CEMETERY, Indonesia
    Grave Reference/
    Panel Number: 17. D. 16.

    Location: Ambon island lies close to the south west coast of Ceram in the Molucca Group of islands. It is reached by air from Jakarta with connecting flights at Ujung Pandang in Sulawesi (Celebes). Ambon War Cemetery (known locally as the Australian Cemetery) is on the opposite side of the bay to the airport. It can be reached by taxi travelling around the bay to Ambon town, or there is a ferry service across the bay which brings you to Ambon town. The Cemetery is 5 kilometres north-east of Ambon on the main road to Galala.


    Historical Information: The town of Ambon, situated on Laitimor Peninsula on the southern shore of Ambon Bay, was severely damaged during the war, first by the Japanese who bombed it heavily in January 1942 and later by the Allied forces who attacked it in 1943 and 1944. The War Cemetery was constructed on the site of a former camp for Australian, British and Dutch prisoners of war, some of whom had been transferred from Java in 1943, and many of those buried in it died in captivity. Other burials were of Australian soldiers who died during the Japanese invasion on Ambon and Timor. Soon after the war the remains of prisoners of war from Haruku and other camps on the island were also removed to Ambon and in 1961, at the request of the Indonesian Government, the remains of 503 graves in Makassar War Cemetery on the island of Celebes were added to the cemetery. The total number of graves in the cemetery is over 2,000. Of this total over half are Australians, of whom about 350 belonged to the 2/21st Australian Infantry Battalion. Most of the 800 British casualties belonged to the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force; nearly all the naval dead were originally buried at Makassar. The American airmen were killed with 7 Australian airmen in July 1945; all were buried in a collective grave in Plot 28. The non-war grave is that of a seaman of the Merchant Navy, whose death was not due to war service. The cemetery is laid out in a series of terraces approached by short flights of steps on the central axis. The Ambon Memorial, which is in the form of a shelter, stands on the first terrace. It commemorates over 450 Australian soldiers and airmen who died in the region of Celebes and the Molucca Islands and have no known grave. The Cross of Sacrifice stands on the highest terrace in a wide expanse of lawn; the terrace below it contains most of the burials from Makassar. All the graves are marked with bronze plaques mounted on concrete pedestals and set in level turf. Tropical trees and shrubs are planted throughout the cemetery and around its boundaries.

    http://www.cwgc.org.uk/detailed.asp?casualty=2171510

    Certificate of Registry of Birth
    entry no 288 book 2 16 December 1912 John Gibbs Registrar, District Chipping Sodbury sub District Winterbourne

    LAPHAM, ALFRED GEORGE NGX97 19 Oct 1912 BRISTOL, ENGLAND Army
    LAPHAM, CATHERINE EDITH 102153 12 Sep 1922 BRISBANE, QLD RAAF
    LAPHAM, CHARLES HENRY N76569 3 Sep 1894 ORANGE, NSW Army
    LAPHAM, EDITH CAVELL GLORIA 176152 24 Nov 1923 BURWOOD, NSW RAAF
    LAPHAM, EDWIN JAMES QX42503 19 Sep 1919 TOOWOOMBA, QLD Army
    LAPHAM, ERIC LANSDOWNE NX37556 4 Nov 1917 BALMAIN, NSW Army
    LAPHAM, ERNEST FREDERICK 76504 2 Jul 1901 SYDNEY, NSW RAAF
    LAPHAM, FRANK W39863 22 Oct 1923 NORTHAM, WA Army
    LAPHAM, GEORGE EDWARD 413395 26 Jul 1916 SYDNEY, NSW RAAF
    LAPHAM, HAROLD 125523 11 Dec 1924 CARLTON, VIC RAAF
    LAPHAM, HENRY JOHN 33327 25 Jan 1915 SYDNEY, NSW RAAF
    LAPHAM, JOHN HUGH WX12362 18 Mar 1919 KALGOORLIE, WA Army
    LAPHAM, KENNETH TREVOR WX29521 4 May 1912 KALGOORLIE, WA Army
    LAPHAM, LESLIE RICHARD WX10810 31 Jan 1906 COOLGARDIE, WA Army
    LAPHAM, ROY 28598 15 Mar 1920 PROSPECT, SA RAAF
    LAPHAM, ROY S29334 15 Mar 1920 ADELAIDE, SA Army
    LAPHAM, STANLEY EDWARD WX9984 21 Apr 1908 KALGOORLIE, WA Army
    LAPHAM, TREVOR CECIL TX15293 22 Jul 1923 BURNIE, TAS Army
    LAPHAM, WILFRED LESLIE JOSEPH TX5107 30 Mar 1920 ZEEHAN, TAS Army
    LAPHAM, WILLIAM SX1039 10 Jun 1914 RICHMOND, VIC Army
    LAPHAM, WILLIAM FRANCIS T18127 20 Apr 1916 ZEEHAN, TAS Army
    LAPHAM, WILLIAM JAMES 53447 27 Jan 1919 LAKESIDE, WA Army
    LAPHAM, WILLIAM MILTON 136247 1 Aug 1925 BURWOOD, NSW RAAF

    Name LAPHAM, ALFRED GEORGE
    Service Australian Army
    Service Number NGX97
    Date of Birth 19 Oct 1912
    Place of Birth BRISTOL, ENGLAND
    Date of Enlistment 6 Jul 1940
    Locality on Enlistment AUBURN, VIC
    Place of Enlistment WAU, TERRITORY OF NEW GUINEA
    Next of Kin LAPHAM, ALFRED
    Date of Death 1 Jul 1945
    Rank Sapper
    Posting on Death 2/11 Field Company
    WW2 Honours and Gallantry None
    Prisoner of War Yes
    Roll of Honour Unknown

    ***********************************

    Title
    LAPHAM ALFRED GEORGE : Service Number - NGX97 : Date of birth - 19 Oct 1912 : Place of birth - BRISTOL ENGLAND : Place of enlistment - WAU TERRITORY OF NEW GUINEA : Next of Kin - LAPHAM ALFRED
    Item barcode
    5889433 Series number in http://www.naa.gov.au/

    B883 Series accession number
    2002/05087643
    Control symbol
    NGX97
    Contents date range
    1939 - 1948 Extent
    Location
    Canberra
    Access status
    Not yet examined Reason for restriction
    Date of decision
    1 Jan 1970



    (son of Alfred Thomas Lapham and Florence Caroline Evans) was born October 19, 1912 in Bristol England
    and died July 1, 1945 in Royal Australian Army (Prisoner of Japanese). "

    blogged========================
    Canada, Australia & New Zealand Business Association Luncheon: "In fact, our airport at Lae was the last place Amelia Earhart was seen in 1937 on her failed first ever circumnavigation of the globe by a female pilot. "

    George Palmer Putnam Collection description -- Purdue Libraries: "Amelia Earhart Putnam (1897-1937)."

    Canada, Australia & New Zealand Business Association Luncheon: "Placer Development's roots extend back to the1920s with alluvial gold workings in Bulolo, Papua New Guinea (then a territory and a UN protectorate of Australia), where our predecessor company, Bulolo Gold Dredging, produced more than two million ounces of gold in the remote, mountainous jungles. "

    My Uncle,
    "Alfred George (Dick) Lapham was there - in his letters from New Guinea and Australia to his father
    C/o Bulolo Gold Dredging,
    Bulolo, New Guinea

    July 11 1937

    he was from about January 1934 and describes himself as an old man soon to be 35
    he was acting as cook on the dredge because the boy broke his arm

    and everyone is talking about Mrs Putnam.

    C/o J Temperley Tully North Queensland
    March 4, 1932
    Driving a team of horses to cart stones from the creek to the cow yard.
    Bullock teams are better than horses for hauling timber out, which is very valuable and railed to Brisbane and shipped to America.

    c/o B. G. D. Co. Ltd.
    Bulolo
    New Guinea

    January 6 1935

    he is logging cedar
    no income tax to pay because the country is under the League of Nations



    February 20th 1937

    He flew for the first time in his life in a
    Guinea Airways: "Guinea Airways Lockheed Super Electra (? L14 VH-ADY)"
    8 passengers 2 pilits 250 mph



    November 20 1937
    dear DAd
    no best girl
    thanks for pen - birthday present

    "What a funny world this is, here we are over here digging gold
    to provide money for world to make another war,
    which I think will be in the near future, at the rate things are going on.


    Bulolo
    February 7 1938
    Heard King George[VI] speak on radio

    discusses threatened strike
    he was the dredge crew's representative

    He had been asked to join the Free Masons
    a "gay and debonair bachelor" up to (his brothers ) Norman and howard to keep the Lapham name going strong

    Only Howard hwas to have two daughters so the name died with that generation.

    C/o Bulolo Gold Dredging,
    Bulolo, New Guinea
    December 14 1938

    16 men and a chinese cook of course
    transfering to a camp 15 miles from Bulolo and 4 miles from Wace
    eating underdone steak with a mug of beer and pay the company 12 a month for what they ate
    he had a sort of foreman's job, a winchman to be correct
    he has a spot of cash about 500 wrapped up in gold shares
    and hopes to use it to come home to Bristol 1940 -1944




    July 10 1939

    9 months since his last letter home
    4 days day in sidney and 6 weeks in Melbourne
    On his first afternoon at the Carlton Hotel hecought a thiefn in his room after fighting him and managing to "king-hit" him

    Turned about to be a criminal 6 months out of jail after serving 15 years for murder
    the hotel manager gave a bottle of champagne

    3 days after that he go a car in Melbournend drove about 2000 miles touring Victoria
    put on about 2 stone in weight leading the life of a gentleman

    But "after the Lord mayor's show comes the sanitary cart"

    July 10 1939 to his mother (not living with my grandfather )
    back in Bololo about a month
    Played golf with Billy Hughes
    First World War.com - Who's Who - Billy Hughes: "William Morris ('Billy') Hughes (1862-1952) served as Australia's Prime Minister from 1915-23,"
    welsh but born in London


    October 7 1939 Bololo
    going to be engaged to be married
    her names is Lilian (hole torn in letter)
    sister in hospital Port Moresby

    must win this war first

    "Russia is only in for what she can get out of it , with the hope that she may extend extend her communist doctrine to Germany after Hitler has fallen. * * * * *

    All our news comes over the radio which does not amount to much.

    2/11 Field Engineers
    September 4 1940

    "the duty of all fit single men to join up" so he had 6 weeks earlier
    no good having jobs or money of Germany is allowed to win the war.

    April 7 1941
    2/11 Field Engineers Darwin, North Australia
    gossip about the place and the regiment
    Japan mentioned
    written by the light of a hurricane lamp






    to his father from Staf Sergeant Frank J White 25 april 46
    who knew Dick from Jan 1934

    was with him the day he died and attended his burial. "His death was absolutely painless."
    only 123 out of 900 POW in Ambon returned to Australia

    c/o David Knox
    "River View"
    Kurrumby
    S W Line
    Queensland
    Feb 22 (undated but a boyish hand(
    there 3 months
    working at burning prickly pear
    2000 sheep
    cows

    saw a large red fox

    the immigration people in Brisbane wantto send him up north.
    writes of gold




    >> Source: The Collins English Dictionary 2000 HarperCollins Publishers:

    king-hit (Australian) (informal)
    noun
    1 a knockout blow, esp. an unfair one
    verb (-hits, -hitting, -hit)
    [transitive]
    2 to deliver a knockout blow to

    <<


    Pacific Book House - Book Lists: "BOOTH, Doris R.
    MOUNTAINS GOLD AND CANNIBALS.
    Cornstalk Publishing. Sydney. 1929. Second Australian Edition; xix, 203, index; 29 illusts.; hardcover (rebound with gilt titles, new endpapers) reproduction dust jacket protected; (sporadic foxing, numerous library stamps) a readers copy. Very Scarce. The author, Mrs Booth, arrived at the goldfields in 1924 where her previous training as a nurse undoubtedly saved many lives, while at the same time she was supervising the work on her claim. Much sought after book on the Bulolo and Edie Creek goldfields with references to the Buang and Watut. "




    (son of Alfred Thomas Lapham and Florence Caroline Evans) was born October 19, 1912 in Bristol England
    and died July 1, 1945 in Royal Australian Army (Prisoner of Japanese). "




    Father: Alfred Thomas Lapham b: 15 OCT 1872 in 15 Campbell Street Bristol BS2 8XE Clifton Dec 1872 6a 78 AML BB "Daddy"
    Mother: Florence Caroline Evans b: 13 JUN 1877 in St Philips AML BB RGO Bristol 6d 21 5 Merchant Street
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