Leslie Arthur Lawrence - commando - North Africa, Italy

Discussion in 'Biographies' started by Antipodean Andy, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Just speaking to one of my colleagues. He told me his Dad served in North Africa at the tail end of the LRDG ops and then "trained in Turkey" before being dropped behind enemy lines with his unit in Italy. My colleague said they blew up the bridges as the Germans retreated but all were eventually captured - Leslie was the last after six months on the run after the intended submarine pick up failed when the Germans sank the sub. He was captured by the Italians, handed to the Germans and then the Gestapo interrogated him to "find out what his wings meant".

    In hospital and down to five stone, an English soldier died one night so Leslie had his moustache shaved off and clothes swapped and became that dead soldier for the rest of the war. His wife in Australia, my colleague's Mum, was told he was dead.

    It would be interesting to cross-reference this lot. There are a couple of things that could be followed especially as he was a POW. A quick look on AWM turned up nothing but I'm at work and shouldn't be researching!
  2. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Can't find anything in any of the archive sites, mate. However, the above comment implies SAS, not LRDG, as their insignia was a Scorpian in a circle.
  3. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    My colleague did mention SAS but also LRDG so perhaps the comment of coming in on the tail end of the desert campaign is very pertinent to SAS "membership". Might see if I can get a service number.
  4. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Another chat with my colleague and some more anecdotes. Leslie and his new wife holidayed on the Black Sea about 15 years ago. He had just had a hip operation and consequently set off the metal detectors. He and his wife were taken into the inspection room where a male and a female officer were waiting. Dropping his daks, Leslie showed them the scars from the operation which coincided with the beeps of the scanner...and then the various bullet/shrapnel scars which also beeped. He was chuckling as he got dressed and the female officer asked why as most people found the experience humbling. Said Leslie, "The last time I dropped my pants for a pretty lady was during the war"! Apparently, Leslie's second wife rolled her eyes and said, "Oh dear, he's off again".

    Turns out my colleague's step-father, Harry Loads, was a fitter on Mossies in North Africa and India - supervised a team that specialised in gluing them back together in the hot conditions! This came about while discussing the Aussie Beaufort problem with the trim tabs on the elevator and how technology could become quite localised and suited to a particular environment. Incidentally, Beauforts were built not far from where I now sit. Of course, you know what that means...Beaufighters were too! :becky:

    Both my colleague's father figures were of UK extraction, not Australian.
  5. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Fisherman's Bend?
  6. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Indeed, sorry.
  7. fairfieldgal

    fairfieldgal New Member

    I am trying to find information about my father and the colleagues he would have known and campaigns he would have experienced during WW2 serving in the SAS and later as a POW. I fear I have left it rather late but I came across this site last week and sent it along to my twin sis and younger brother. Leslie Lawrence was our Father ( your colleague our half brother ) and served with the SAS during WW2. The LRDG and the SAS units worked closely together in North Africa but provided different operations. Dad was a great story teller and had a wonderful sense of humor but wouldn't tell all his secrets unfortunately. I will post further info as quickly as I can type ......
  8. Cobber

    Cobber New Member

    Fishermans Bend they used that along with Avalon as part of their FA18 build back in the 1980's don't know who owns what down their now or if it all still exists. I reckon i could see it if i elevated myself a few more metres.
    I think when they needed more space, or to modernise the factory space they had, it turned out cheaper and possibly 'more convenient', to move many of the operations at Fishermans Bend elsewhere in Australia. I think this started happening in the late 1990's early 21st century

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