Edward Peter Tapp

Edward Peter Tapp

Edward Peter Tapp, better known as E.P. was born in 1870, the eldest of twelve children. Due to ill health EP received little 'school' education apart from that provided by his Irish grandmother Dorothy. Eventually he got a job on Yancannia Station, near Tibooburra, and was appointed manager at the age of just 25. Yancannia station was so vast, isolated and wild that many lost stockmen wandered hopelessly around until they died of thirst. During the drought of 1909 Yancannia lost 90,000 sheep.

Purrumbete Homestead where EP lived as a little boy.

Tapp showed himself a friend of the local Aborigines and was concerned about their welfare. He also employed them at Yancannia. One of them was Walter Newton, whom Tapp had looked after since he was abandoned by his parents at the age of ten.

In 1902 Tapp married Elizabeth Rose Sheehan, a widow from Wilcannia, and they had, apart from Elizabeth's own daughter Edna, two daughters and a son. In 1914 Tapp teamed up with Sidney Kidman, whom he had known when Kidman was a station hand at Mount Gipps near Broken Hill. During 1916 they bought Yancannia, Tindara and Lake Elder Stations from the Shaw Brothers for 25,000.

However defending The Empire seemed more important to Tapp than running or owning properties. At the ripe old age of 47 he joined up, with Walter Newton, on 5 February 1917, and both served with the Light Horse in Palestine. During Tapp's absence Kidman looked after his property.

After the war, Tapp sold Lake Elder Station and in 1920 bought Nunthurungie Station of 350,000 acres for 6,000. Thirty years later it was valued at 30,000. Many years later Myrtle Rose White, whose husband became manager at Lake Elder, would make many references to Tapp in her book No Roads Go By. The People magazine of October 1954 called him a bushman of the old school and stated that at 85, rich squatter Edward Tapp is still in the saddle. His son Errol was managing Nunthurungie. Edward Peter Tapp died in Broken Hill in 1955 at the age of 86.

Thanks to Andrew Murray who supplied the photograph and most of the information.

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