Saturday, 25 April 2015

Tapper, Francis - Petty Officer

(No soldier photo available)
HMS Tenedos,
Royal Navy
Died 5 April 1942
Age 34

In early April 1942 a Japanese aircraft carrier fleet delivered two strikes by 130 dive-bombers on British naval bases in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), attacking Colombo on the 5th and Trincomalee on the 9th. Despite a packed harbour at Colombo, only two warships were sunk, another damaged, and a merchant ship damaged, out of 34 ships present. The Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Hector was sunk in shallow water and later raised. The destroyer HMS Tenedos was also sunk, with the loss of 33 officers and men. Petty Officer Francis (Frank) Tapper was one who lost his life.

Frank was the son of Richard John and Margaret Florence Tapper and the husband of Elsie. He was aged 34. He was in the Regular Royal Navy and he and his family lived near the naval base of Plymouth. Frank and his wife, however, were formerly associated with St.James' Church.

Frank's grave is in Colombo (Kanatte) General Cemetery, Sri Lanka. The cemetery is actually at Borella, at a junction on the Kanatte Road. Many of the burials are from the Military Hospital in Colombo and from passing ships. There are 60 1914-1918 War, and nearly 300 from the 1939-1945 War, Commonwealth casualties interred in the cemetery. Frank lies in Plot 6B, Row N, in a Joint Grave 7, with a Special Memorial.