- Media Type:
- Item Type:
- 2017LL001.001: Black and white photograph of Leslie Lamb in November or December 1942. Leslie is wearing a flying suit, also called a teddy bear suit, and this is the first photograph of him in uniform.
2017LL001.002: Black and white group photograph of new Royal Air Force recruits, believed to have been taken at the Royal Air Force Bridgnorth Station at Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England in early 1943. Leslie is identified in the back, standing row, fourth from the left, with an arrow above his head.
2017LL001.003.1: Black and white group photograph of Keith Anderson’s crew and ground crew aboard ‘N-NAN’, a new Halifax Mk VI recently delivered to 158 Squadron. Les is the second from the left, seated on top of the aircraft, with the rest of the crew. Photograph dated shortly after 4 March 1945.
2017LL001.003.2: Black and white group photograph of Keith Anderson air and ground crew. The photograph appears on page 150 of Paul Bright’s “Air War Over East Yorkshire in World War II” and is captioned: Keith Anderson’s 158 Sqd crew, safely back at Lissett after surviving attacks by German intruder aircraft and a heavy landing at Middleton St. George after their return from Kamen on 3rd/4th March 1945. L-t: Sgt. L. Lamb (wireless operator), Sgt. G. Tuohy (mid-upper gunner), Sgt. S. D. Till (rear gunner), F/Sgt K.M. Anderson (pilot), W/O L. Cooper (bomb-aimer), Sgt R.C. Mundy (flight engineer) and F/Sgt H. Lomas (navigator). Three members of the groundcrew kneel in front.
2017LL001.006: Black and white photograph of [from left to right] brothers William “Bill”, Donald, and Leslie Lamb, circa 1945. All brothers served in the Second World War: Bill and Les in the Royal Air Force, and Donald in the Royal Navy.
2017LL001.007: Group photograph of five Transportation Command members in uniform circa 1945-1947, standing in front of a tin sided building. Leslie is in the back row standing in the middle. Names are listed on the reverse, from front to back, left to right: Bill Lee; Andrew McGarva; Bob Stow; Self [Leslie Lamb]; Cyril.
2017LL001.008: Wedding photograph of Leslie Lamb and Renée Topping, 6 September 1946. Les and Renée are in the centre, Renée holding a bouquet of dark coloured flowers. Les’ brother Bill was his best man, and is seen standing on his right.
2017LL001.009: Colour photograph of Leslie in his South Brant Legion uniform wearing his service medals and pins, and his wife Renée dated November 1999.
2017LL001.010: Colour photographs of the restored Friday the 13th Bomber aircraft at the Yorkshire Air Museum, used by the Royal Air Force Bomber Command. Les and his crew flew one of the last missions of this aircraft in 1945. Les visited the Yorkshire Air Museum circa the early 2010s while in England for a 158 Squadron Reunion.
2017LL001.011: Colour photograph of four Brantford Air Force Club members [left to right]: Les, Jim Cass, Joe Bialas, and an unidentified West Brantford Legion 90 member, circa 2014.
2017LL001.012: Colour photograph of Les wearing glasses and a black suit embroidered with the Canadian Legion Life Member crest, with his decorations, a poppy, two lapel pins (Past President Legion pin on his left, and a "Support Our Troops" Legion pin on his right), white shirt, a navy tie with yellow stripes and a tie clip, in front of a blue background. Photograph taken circa 2014.
2017LL001.013: WWII 75th Anniversary Commemorative Pin certificate given to Leslie Lamb from Brant Member of Provincial Parliament Dave Levac, dated 13 December 2014.
2017LL001.014: A Certificate of Recognition presented to Leslie Lamb for his service during the Second World War, issued by The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada and The Honourable Julian Fantino, P.C., M.P. Minister of Veterans Affairs, dated 2014. Associated with the certificate was an invitation addressed to Mr. Lamb to “A presentation Honouring our WWII Veterans & to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Canada’s Engagement in WWII” dated 13 December 2014.
2017LL001.015: Royal Air Force Bomber Command Medal and ribbon, and associated blue paper card certifying the medal to Les Lamb.
2017LL001.016: Normandy Medal and ribbon.
2017LL001.017: A sample of pages from Leslie Lamb’s log book, documenting all training, certificates of qualification, and missions completed during his service. Day missions were recorded in black ink, and night missions in red ink.
- Leslie Lamb was born on 26 January 1925 in Saint Helens, Lancashire, England to Daniel and Annie (Gilleeney) Lamb. They family lived on Marshalls Cross Road, and Leslie attended school around the corner at Robins Lane School. From the age of fifteen to eighteen, he served in the local cadets, and studied Morse code and took radio courses, knowing they would be useful skills. Almost immediately upon his high school graduation at the age of eighteen, Les enlisted as a private in the Royal Air Force (RAF). When he took his RAF entrance exams to determine his proficiency at Morse code, he impressed his instructors by receiving messages at 22 to 23 words per minute, when a pass was only 18 words a minute. Leslie recalls his instructor, Watts, telling him he sent Morse code faster and more accurately than himself and other instructors at the training centre, and due to his proficiency, Les helped train other new recruits despite his young age.
In November or December 1942, he was given his service number, and was temporarily assigned to an Operational Training Unit. Leslie recalls reporting for duty in early 1943 at the Lord’s Cricket Grounds in London, England, and then going to the London Zoo with the other new military recruits, and was provided a meal next to the monkeys. He was then assigned to the Bomber Command 158 Squadron based out of RAF Station Lissett in East Yorkshire, England. He was certified as a wireless operator, and also trained as an air gunner as a reserve. His crew consisted of Keith McKenzie Anderson (pilot), Harry Lomas (navigator), Dennis Till (rear gunner), and George Tuohy (mid upper gunner). He is the only surviving member of the crew. Often flying in a four-engine Handley Page Halifax, they carried out missions across Europe, predominantly over Germany, until the end of the Second World War. The crew’s last active mission during the war was performed on 25 April 1945 in the Halifax nicknamed Friday the 13th, which completed 128 missions in total, the most of any bomber during the war. See a few pages of Leslie’s log book (2017LL001.017) for examples of his missions. Leslie remembers after the conclusion of the war, Bomber Command was tasked with dumping the large stockpiles of bombs in the North Sea. The crew had some fun by flying low, approaching boats on the side, and flying upwards at the last moment, creating large waves to the annoyance of the fishermen. On every mission he took part in, Leslie wore a brown silk scarf with cream-coloured polka dots, and still has the scarf today.
Following the Second World War, Leslie remained in the RAF, and was transferred to Transport Command in either May or June 1945 until 1947. Carrying out passenger flights, he said he appreciated when other aircrew members volunteered to serve the passengers food and drink, preferring to work the machines. At the time of his discharge from the RAF, he was a Warrant Officer. For his military service, he was awarded the 1939-45 Star, France & Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal, Normandy Medal, and Bomber Command Medal.
His father Daniel had served in the Lancashire Army and fought for England during the First World War, and was part of the action at the Battle of Passchendaele. Les had two older brothers, Donald (middle child) and William “Bill” (eldest), and all Lamb children saw action in the Second World War. Donald served with the Royal Navy in the Pacific Theatre working on a destroyer. Bill served with the Royal Air Force, and was stationed in North Africa. Due to the air raids and danger in England, Bill could never take leave to return home for five years. Bill was a Corporal, and his trade was a ground mechanic.
Leslie married Renée Topping (1927-2006) on 6 September 1946. Together, the couple had three children, all of whom were born in England, and are now married and also living with their families in the County of Brant area: Norma Shute, Susan Shewfelt, and Lesley Brown. The family came to Canada with their mother shortly after Leslie came over by boat in the late-1950s to Oakland, Brant, Ontario.
After his military service, Les began a seventy year career in carpentry. He worked as a foreman joiner at William Thornton & Sons Ltd. from 1949-1954, as a joiner with Huyton-With-Roby Urban District Council Architectural and Housing Department from 1954-1956, and then completed an apprenticeship as a joiner at Banner Bros. Ltd. Building Contractors in 1956. He immigrated to Brantford, Ontario, Canada with a job lined up for him at Shultz Construction, where he stayed for the next eleven years as a carpenter. Following, he worked as a Plant Superintendent at Shelving Displays Brantford from 1968-1977, then for a year as a foreman carpenter at Participation House Brantford. As well as working independently for a couple years, Les built factories around Brantford, installed the spire on the St. James Church on Colborne Street in West Brantford, and supplied local universities and companies with furniture and interior equipment.
Leslie is highly involved in the community and is a dedicated Life Member of the South Brant Legion and the Brantford Air Force Club, being an executive member several times with both societies. He has donated money to numerous local efforts including the Oakland Athletics Association after his passion for running, Help a Child Smile, Brant Food for Thought, 2659 Royal Canadian Cadet Corps, Brantford Army Cadets, among others. He also is an active member of the Old Saints Church in Mount Pleasant, and has lived in Scotland, Ontario for the past thirty years.
For more information, see the following publications:
Bright, Paul. Air War Over East Yorkshire in World War II. Ottringham: Flight Recorder Publications Ltd, 2005.
Lomas, Harry. One Wing High: Halifax Bomber – the Navigator’s Story. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1995.
- Date Of Event:
- Personal Name(s):
- Lamb, Leslie
- Local identifier:
- Language of Item:
- Geographic Coverage:
England, United Kingdom
- Leslie Lamb
- Recommended Citation:
- Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.001.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.002.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.003.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.004.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.005.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.006.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.007.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.008.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.009.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.010.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.011.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.012.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.013.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.014.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.015.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.016.
Leslie Lamb, Leslie Lamb. 2017LL001.017.
- Location of Original:
- Leslie Lamb
- The information and images provided are for personal research only and are not to be used for commercial purposes. Use of this information should include the credit "County of Brant Public Library."
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