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From early days as an apprentice joiner to mending tank transporters in the desert in WW2 and then a career in engineering.

Now in his 90th year, Les started his career in the furniture industry in High Wycombe. His father was a machine shop foreman and Les was apprenticed as a joiner with Gomm ltd.

His pride and joy in those days was a Scott motorcycle.

When he was called up in World War 2, he joined the Royal Army Service Corps.

After going on a filing course, his superiors discovered his latent talents as an engineer and he was transferred as a fitter to a heavy repair unit.

He then became a first class fitter for a tank transport company

He was in the thick of the activity in the desert at America and the retreat to El Alamein.

He tells of life in the desert: permanently dirty, short of food and the heavy wear and tear on the tank transporters in his charge .To the alarm of his officers, he solved one serious problem on the trailers by turning them over1

He describes driving a Diamond T transported and a long drive to Czechoslovakia.

On his return he married his lovely sweetheart and joined Rye Engineering of High Wycombe repairing and servicing machinery for the furniture industry.

Les is a very talented model engineer and clock maker. He has built several live steam model traction engines and portable engines and on his wall is a hanging clock.

He made all his furniture for his marital home and shows that he had already attained the highest levels of skill as a joiner before the army changed him into an engineer.


1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1980s, 1990s, Apprenticeship, Deserts, Engineering, Joinery, Model Making, REME, Tanks, Work
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