The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War



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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

Those who Served




Allied Forces - Browse by Surname.


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Axis Forces - Browse by Surname.


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PFC Harvey Leo La Doucer BSM.     United States Army 36th ID 141st   from St. Paul, MN, USA)

My Grandfather was in Company B, 1st Bn, 141st IR, 36th ID. He was taken prisoner on the 26th of October 1944 and was part of the lost battalion in the Vosges Mountains of France.

He was taken POW as part of a patrol that was trying to find a way to attack a big German road block by the rear in an attempt to try to liberate the remainder of the trapped men that he was with. This patrol was composed of about 50-55 men, only 5 returned to the lost bn perimeter. He spent the remainder of the war as a POW in Stalag VIIA.




F/O P. Labelle .     RCAF 426 Sqd.




Chaplain Denzil Laborde .     Royal Navy HMS Dorsetshire (d.5th Apr 1942 )

Denzil Laborde was ship's Chaplain on board HMS Dorsetshire for most of the war and was lost when the ship sank. His young wife had two small girls, the youngest never saw her father, and was only 5 months old when he died. Close to the end of the war, my father, a close university friend of Denzil Laborde, married his young widow. I grew up hearing about the tragedy from both my half-sisters and well remember the small blue book all about this famous ship, which I believe my elder sister still has.




Sgt John I Labow .     RCAF 408 sqd   from 31st Mar 1944)




Pte. Jim Labson .     British Army East African Army Service Corps (d.11th October 1943)

Private Labson was buried in the Lubudi African Cemetery in the Congo, Grave 13.




Pte. Jim Labson .     East African Army Service Corps (d.11th October 1943)

Private Labson was buried in the Lubudi African Cemetery in the Congo, Grave 13.




Jean Lacaze .       from France)

My grandfather, Jean Lacaze, was a POW in Stalag 4c.




Pte. Arthur Charles Lacey .     British Army

My father, Arthur Lacey was a POW in Stalag 18a in Wolfsberg. Does anyone have any memories or knew friends of his? He was a quiet man with black hair who was a skilled pianist. He may have played in the camp as a lot of entertaining went on there. Like many he said very little about it. He was taken prisoner in Greece where his companions had had their heads blown off. He was very sensitive and suffered badly with his nerves when he returned. I was born in 1946 but had a childhood tainted by dad's post traumatic stress. He was discharged from the army with psychoneurosis, as it was then called.




Stoker Sydney Lacey .     Royal Navy HMS Nigeria

While on HMS Nigeria it went for repairs in the USA and my dad, Syd Lacey must have attended this dance - see photos.




2nd Lt. Tom Lacey MID.     British Army 12th Regiment HAC Royal Horse Artillery   from Woolwich)

Immediately on joining in July or August 1942, Tim Lacy's CO said 'I'm going to sack the worst performing subaltern every month', which was a mighty motivation tool. This ended when they were send overseas, as a part of the First Army, to North Africa.

My dad's chief memories (he didn't talk about his wartime experiences a lot) seems to have involved food or drink - getting extremely drunk on hooch made from potatoes by his gun crew to celebrate New Year's day in 1944; eating a meal with an Italian family and eating so much pasta that he literally could not get up afterwards; and staying at a Doge's palace in Venice. He was involved in (or led?) a patrol that captured the first Tiger tank knocked-out in North Africa. Is this why he was mentioned in dispatches? I have always assumed so. He remembered Monte Cassino with bitter feelings.

Previous to joining the regular army, he was in the Home Guard. As it was obvious he would be called up (being physically fit and the right age), he was made a sergeant, to give him command experience, of a squad of very old soldiers. They wend on strike - this must be 1940 - as they refused to obey someone so young and inexperienced. He was hastily given a squad of younger soldiers until Sept 1941, when he was 21 and old enough to join the regular army.




F/O William Morris Lacey .     Royal Canadian Air Force pilot 419 Sqd. (d.13th Jun 1944)




William "B" Lacey .     British Army Parachute Regiment   from East London)

My Grandfather Bill Lacey was 21 when he went to war. I believe he fought in Italy and then Africa. He was injured (shot through the arm while parachuting) and came back to England for a year, then went back to war. From what I know he never talked about it much, but I remember him staying up and watching war films drinking whiskey and smoking unfiltered Players! After the war he married his sweetheart (whom he met hop picking in Kent) and had two children.




Sgt Henry Joseph Patrick Lackey. .     RAF 12Sqd. (d.17th Jun 1943)

W/Op. Henry Lackey was killed on 17th June 1943 in Lancaster ED629 PH-K of 12sqd




F/O. H. K. Lacock .     87 Squadron (d.26th Aug 1943)




Lt. Skipper. George Ladley DSC. .     Royal Naval Reserve HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)

My Great Great Uncle George Ladley was a Lt. skipper on board the vessel when it sank. I wondered if anybody had any information regarding him or if they can advise me where to find the information. I would be grateful for any help or advice.




Sub Lt. Thomas Ellis Ladner .     Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve HMS Forfar

Sub Lt Ladner was amongst the survivors when the Forfar was torpedoed on the 2nd of December 1940




Margot A Ladwig .     Womens Land Army

Aunt Margot Ladwig served in the WLA during WWII 1939-1945 along with her sister Ursel. She came from Germany in 1938 and settled in Monmouth, Illinois in the U.S. Unfortunately, we don't have stories, but we do have photos. Those photos will be added to our digital collection at Western Illinois University. We still have armbands and the tie. We do not have her necklace.




Usel Ladwig .     Womens Land Army

Aunt Ursel Ladwig served in the WLA during WWII 1939-1945 with her sister Margot. She came from Germany in 1939 and settled in Monmouth, Illinois in the U.S. Unfortunately, we don't have stories, but we do have photos. Those photos will be added to our digital collection at Western Illinois University. We still have armbands and the tie.




Dennis Lady .     United States Marine Corps

Held as a Prisoner in Fukuoka 3b.




Mike Alexander Laffin .     Royal Canadian Air Force 434 Sqd.




Mike Alexander Laffin .     Royal Canadian Air Force 434 Sqd.




LAC. James Edward "Junior" LaForce .     Royal Canadian Air Force B Flight 425 Sqdn.   from Gravenhurst, Ontario)




Sergeant George LaForme .     RCAF 59 Squadron




P/O Alain Laidlaw .     RCAF pilot 50 Sqd




Sgt. Richard Henry Laidler .     British Army 507 Field Company Royal Engineers (d.29th May 1940)

Richard Laidler died aged 40. He was born in Jarrow in 1899, son of Alexander and Helen Laidler (nee Grey). He was the husband of Mary Eleanor Laidler (nee Gwynn) of Primrose Jarrow

Richard is remembered on the Dunkirk Memorial and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.




Tpr. Daniel J.J. Laing .     British Army 46th (Liverpool Welsh) Btn. Royal Tank Regiment   from Forres, Moray)

Dan Laing was my great uncle and I have been researching his wartime background. He was a tank driver with the 46th Btn. Royal Tank Regiment and may have also served with the 42nd Bn RTR. He is reported wounded on 22nd July 1942 at the First Battle of El Alamein, a date which ties in exactly with the unsuccessful action of 23rd Armoured Bgde where they took heavy casualties; the 46th Btn being part of 23rd's order of battle.

He went on to serve in Italy and maybe (unconfirmed) in Greece at the end of the war. Unconfirmed family stories say he was also wounded in Italy though I found no record online of this. The story goes that Dan was wounded in Italy and ended up in the same Field Hospital (at the same time) as his brother (Jim Laing) who was with the Pipes and Drums of 9 Commando. Jim was wounded (corroborated) on 22nd December 1943 during Operation Partridge when 9 Commando conducted a raid across the Garigliano River. Jim was playing the pipes that night and stood on a landmine. Fortunately, the pipes took most of the blast, allowing Jim to recover and go on to serve with 9 Commando in Greece.

Dan married and settled in Bangor, North Wales after the war. He died in 1956. Jim went on to marry Dan's widow though he too passed away prematurely in 1966.




Sgt. David Laing .     Royal Air Force 114 Sqd. (d.10th Mar 1941)

David Laing who died aged 21 whilst serving as a Wireless Operator with the RAF, was the son of William and Mabel Laing (nee Holstead) of Jarrow.

David is buried in Jarrow Cemetery and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.




F/O John Rollo Laing .     Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 514 Sqdn.   from Alloa)

(d.24th March 1944)

Lancaster LL625 C (Charlie) crashed in Germany on 24th/25th March 1944. This was the last major Berlin raid. There was one survivor: F/Sgt R.B. McAlister. The full crew were:

  • F/Sgt. R.B. McAlister, RCAF, mid-upper gunner
  • F/O J.R. Laing, RAFVR, pilot
  • Sgt. A. Vickers, RAFVR, navigator
  • F/Sgt J. Knights, RAFVR, bomb aimer
  • F/Sgt. G.E. Scott, RAFVR, wop/airgunner
  • Sgt. C.A. Salt, RAFVR, rear gunner
  • Sgt. P.C.K. Bennett, RAFVR, flight engineer

    All the crew who died were buried in Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery.




  • Pte. Robert Laird .     British Army 6th Btn. Seaforth Highlanders   from Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland)




    Seaman William Laird .     Royal Navy HMS Penelope

    I was serving on HMS Penelope when she was torpedoed by a German U Boat and sunk at Anzio on the 18th of Febuary 1944. I was firing a pom pom gun at the time and didint realise that we had been hit. I survived by the Grace of God I now live in Lanarkshire, Scotland and I will never forget the men who served with me.





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