George Horace CAPPER

Poppy

CAPPER, George Horace

Service Number: VX65245
Enlisted: 24 October 1941, Royal Park, Victoria
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: Kensington, South Australia, 28 August 1924
Home Town: Mount Gambier, Mount Gambier, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Motor mechanic
Died: Died of illness (POW of Japan), Borneo, 21 March 1945, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Labuan Memorial
No known grave
Memorials:

World War 2 Service

24 Oct 1941: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN VX65245, Royal Park, Victoria
25 Oct 1941: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN VX65245
16 Feb 1942: Imprisoned Malaya/Singapore

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Biography

George Horace Capper was not born on 28 August 1922 in Liverpool, England (as he claimed on enlistment (recordsearch.naa.gov.au)). He was born on 28 August 1924 in Kensington, South Australia. He was the son of George Alfred Capper a returned WW1 serviceman and his English war bride Mabel Blanche Capper (nee Slade). 

George Horace Capper's mother Blanche died in 1933 when he was 9 years old of tuberculosis. His father had shot through when Blanche first became unable to look after George Horace and his siblings. The story related by George Horace' cousin Ray Wallage goes as follows.

As she lay dying in the Northfield TB Hospital Ward Blanche Capper was comforted by somebody from the Catholic Church. With her husband having left her and her kids she decided or was persuaded to put her children in the care of the Catholic Church and upon her death George Horace and his sister Irene were sent to Catholic children's homes. Irene was sent to Melbourne where by writing notes on paper wrapped around stones which she threw over the Home's fence a kindly neighbour eventually contacted her Grandmother Faith Capper in Murray Bridge, South Australia. Faith spent a considerable amount of money on a legal challenge to Irene's custody which was eventually successful but George Horace was gone, fostered out.

When the Second World War bagan George Horace Capper, very much underage enlisted in South Australia under a false name only to be discovered at Woodside Army Training Camp when it turned out that one of his drill instructors was a former foster father.

Kicked out under age George Horace decided to enlist in Melbourne, altering his age by two years and giving his birthplace as Liverpool, England knowing it was less likely to be checked under the War conditions in England at the time. 

 

"...VX65245 Private George Horace Capper, 27th Brigade Ordnance Workshop, Australian Army Ordnance Corps. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of B Force. The 1494 POW's that made up B Force, were transported from Changi on 7 July 1942 on board the tramp ship Ubi Maru, arriving in Sandakan Harbour on 18 July 1942. Private Capper, aged 22, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 21 March 1945. He is commemorated on the Labuan Memorial Panel 27." - SOURCE (www.awm.gov.au)

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