Lambton at War


The Second World War

Robert Irvine


Robert (Bob) Irvine was born in Brigden, Ontario in 1923, the oldest son of Dr. Harold Irvine and his wife Shirley.  He enlisted in the RCAF and trained as a navigator.  He was posted to an all Canadian crew serving with 101 Squadron RAF.  His pilot, the late Lyle James, was from Sarnia, and the two became fast friends – a friendship that lasted until Bob’s untimely death in 1977.  Bob’s crew survived the required 30 missions to complete their tour of duty, and returned to Canada.  He, as well as other members of the crew, including Lyle, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.  Bob went on to be a successful architect in Sarnia, where he designed several key buildings, among the most notable being the Federal Building (Post Office) on Christina St. and London Road School.


Uncle Bob's Crew
Uncle Bob’s Crew
~ Submitted David Irvine, Forest, nephew of Robert Irvine.

George Varnum Andrew

George Varnum Andrew
George Varnum Andrew

George Andrew was born in Sarnia on January 11th, 1923, the son of George and Elizabeth Andrew.  George joined the Royal Canadian Air Force on April 21, 1941.  After completing basic training, he married Esther (Hetty) Jones of Sarnia. He was posted to #426 Thunderbird Squadron and was sent overseas in October 1942 at the rank of Flight Sergeant.  He was later commissioned to the rank of Pilot Officer.  On his 22nd raid, on December 20, 1943, his Lancaster aircraft was lost during night operations against Frankfurt, Germany, killing all aboard.  George Andrew is buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany, Coll.Grave 10.E.9-13.

~ Story told by David Irvine, Forest.





Milton (Mick) Bailey
Milton (Mick) Bailey




Milton (Mick) Bailey
Milton (Mick) Bailey







Milton (Mick) Bailey

Milton (Mick) Bailey
Milton (Mick) Bailey

“Mick Bailey married my mom and was my stepfather. During the war he worked on the Stretcher Medical Detail. His partner was Roy Bead. They were known as Beanie and Bailey. Mick never spoke of his service in the Army overseas, although he shared one story with me.

Mick and Roy had a German prisoner of war to be exchanged with a Canadian soldier.The German was begging not to be returned but both agreed, “We need our Canadian soldier back”. When the exchange was done, they never saw the injured soldier again until Mick got a call. Remember the Canadian soldier you rescued, well, I was that soldier.”

The call came from Rufas Fulford from Port Hope Ontario. His family wanted to have a reunion with Mick and Roy Bean in his home Town of Port Hope.

What a wonderful reunion with not a dry eye in the place. Mick and Roy were part of the “D-Day Dodgers” and went to many reunions in Orillia, Ontario, every Mother’s Day weekend

Mick was a constant visitor at Forest Legion, there the comradeship never ended until his death, at 85 years of age.

~ Story told by Nancy-Lee Jacobs, step-daughter of Mick Bailey.

Gordon Finley Harkins

Harkins, F/O Gordon Finley (J14242)–Distinguished Flying Cross- –  No. 433 Squadron-Award effective 2 Oct. 1944 as per London Gazette dated 13 Oct. 1944 and AFRO 2637/44 dated 8 Dec. 1944.

Gordon Harkins was born in Sarnia, in1919.  He enlisted in Windsor, 10 June 1940.

He “completed….numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which (he has) invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty.

This officer, the navigator of Squadron Leader McNeil’s crew, has since Aug. 1943 completed 31 sorties over enemy territory including such heavily defended German targets as Essen, Karlsruhe and Augsburg.  He also completed fifteen sorties against Italian targets when operating in the Middle East.

His outstanding ability and strong sense of duty have been a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to his fellow navigators.  He has frequently acted in the capacity of Deputy Navigation Leader and has contributed much to the success of that section by his initiative and leadership.

I consider that his splendid record plus the fearlessness and fine offensive spirit he has displayed at all times fully merits the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross (Non-Immediate).”

~ Story submitted by Janet Kelch, Sarnia.

Glyn Jones

Headstone, G. Jones
Headstone, G. Jones

Glyn Jones was born in Bargoed, Wales, the youngest son of David and Annie Jones.  Glyn emigrated to Canada in the 1920’s along with his mother and siblings following the death of his father, and settled with his mother in Sarnia.  In 1939, Glyn, along with his older brother Idwal (Ed), joined the Royal Canadian Engineers, being assigned to the 1st Canadian Field Park Company.  Glyn participated in “Operation Jubilee”, the ill fated raid on Dieppe in August of 1942.  He was killed in action on the raid, and is buried in the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-Sur-Mer, Seine-Maritime, France, Grave E.57.

~ Submitted David Irvine, Forest.

Gordon Clifford Kelch

Gordon Clifford Kelch was born on September 22, 1918 in Sarnia.  He was a member of the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserves.

Kelch, Gordon Clifford, Ptlmn Royal Canadian

Volunteer Reserve ID Card #166155 Enlisted 25 Jan. 1945 at H.M.C.S. Prevost, London, ON.  Discharged 16 Jan. 1946 at H.M.C.S. Prevost Class N o. 615646 Stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia.   Was injured while on duty, quelling the Halifax Riot of 1945.   Gordon was struck from behind in the kidney; damaging the organ therefore he was discharged.

Gordon Kelch died on June 22 1986 in Sarnia.

~ Submitted by Janet Kelch, Sarnia.

Howard Ellesworth Kelch

b. 31 Dec. 1910 in Sarnia, d. 15 June 1991 in Sarnia

Canadian Army, Active (CASF) Kelch, Howard Ellesworth Cpl. 1st Field Park Co. R.C.E. Svc. #18198 Enlisted 19 Sept. 1939 in Sarnia, ON at 34 years, 6 mos.  Discharged 3 July 1945 at Wolseley Barracks, London, ON.   Awarded  France & German Star, Defence Medal, C.V.S. Medal with Clasp.   Was trained as a sapper (engineer).   Served in the United Kingdom & Continental Europe Theatre, War Service badge, Class G.S.C. #269568.

~ Submitted by Janet Kelch, Sarnia

Herbert Charles Lynn

On 1 May 1943 my father, Herbert Charles Lynn #A106782 signed up for the war.   He was in C Company, Elgin Regiment, later in the Canadian Armord Corps.  He was awarded the Italy Star GRJ V1, 1939-1945 George V1’s Service medal, 1939-1945 Service Star GRJ V1, 1939-1945 Service medal and the France & Germany Star GRJ V1.  He was married to Florence Viola (Harrett) Lynn, had a daughter Janet Diane Lynn & was expecting a second child.   He lived at 403 ½ Shepard St., Sarnia, ON.

He was born in Bristol, England on 11 Aug. 1918 and came to Canada as a one year old in 1919 with his parents.   His father, Charles William Lynn had been in Sarnia in 1915 when he signed up on 21 Sept. 1915. He married my grandmother Kate (Britton) Lynn in Bristol, Eng. on 15 Nov. 1917.

Herbert Charles Lynn died in Sarnia on 24 Apr. 1989 and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery.

~ Story told by Janet Kelch, Sarnia