88-year-old Briton spent 75 years looking for grave of brother lost in Battle of Singapore

A Facebook post about Mr Len Tadman, a Briton who spent the past 75 years trying to find information about his brother Tom who died defending Singapore in World War Two.
A Facebook post about Mr Len Tadman, a Briton who spent the past 75 years trying to find information about his brother Tom who died defending Singapore in World War Two.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK

Mr Len Tadman, 88, a retiree living in London, has spent much of the past 75 years looking for the grave of his brother Tom, a British soldier killed after defending Singapore during the battle against the Japanese.

In an interview with British newspaper The Telegraph, he said the search for what happened to his brother has been "a life's work" for him.

He and two of his sisters have reportedly visited Singapore and Borneo five times trying to retrace his brother's steps. They've also asked around military reunions, scoured archives and appealed to the UK government, all to no avail.

And without a specific gravestone to honour, Mr Tadman has sent a wreath to the Kranji War Memorial this week. This Wednesday (Feb 15) marks the 75th anniversary of the British defeat in the Battle of Singapore.

The report on Mr Tadman has been shared on local Facebook group Singapore Heritage, Monuments, Places of Interest.

Mr Tom Tadman was serving as a bombardier with the British Army and his division was originally meant to be dispatched to the Middle East. Instead, they were posted to defend the British stronghold Singapore against the onslaught of Japanese forces.

The invading Japanese army took out the allied British forces in the Battle of Singapore in what has since been described as a crushing defeat.

British Lieutenant General Arthur E. Percival surrendered Singapore to Japan on Feb 15 after a week of fighting.

A letter from Tom's senior officers indicated that he was alive in 1942, and was a Prisoner of War.

He was held in Changi before being moved to a labour camp in Borneo.

In April 1945, Mr Tadman's family received a letter confirming that Tom had died that month.

Japan surrendered on September 2 that year.

"When the war ended, the first thing my mother said was, 'I wish he had gone at the very beginning, fighting. He didn't need to go through that'," said Mr Tadman.