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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J C Lumsden


John Clapperton Lumsden was born on 2nd March 1919 in Loanhead, a small mining town just to the south of Edinburgh.  Shortly after his birth he moved with his parents to Edinburgh where he lived in the Bruntsfield/ Morningside area.  He attended Bruntsfield Primary School and Boroughmuir Secondary School.  At school he was highly rated, both academically and sporting, and was a keen rugby player and a very promising golfer.

On leaving school he was employed in a number of posts associated with laundry management.  He also continued his formal education at Heriot Watt College and was successful in gaining a scholarship to undertake further studies in London. 

His studies were curtailed by the outbreak of war and in September 1939, aged 19, he joined the RAFVR as an Airman u/t Air Gunner.

After basic training at Padgate he was posted to No. 2 Electrical and Wireless School Yatesbury for a wireless course and then to No. 1 AAS Manby for gunnery training.



Lumsden went to No. 1 (Coastal) OTU at Silloth, converted to Blenheims and then joined 248 Squadron on 5th October 1940. He later served with 53 Squadron at Bircham Newton, operating Hudsons.

After a bad crash (November 2018 - under research) he was discharged from the RAF in 1942 and resumed his career in laundry management, taking up posts in the Cotswolds, Glasgow and Edinburgh.  He married Anne Arnot on 29th December 1944 in Edinburgh, the marriage would only end with his death 67 years later. They had 2 children, a boy and a girl. 

He held a series of management posts in the Edinburgh area during the 1950s and early 1960s before he was appointed as the factory manager for the Golden Wonder crisp company. However in 1976 at the age of 56 he suffered a stroke.  This led to him taking early retirement on health grounds.

He was still able to pursue his interests, primarily his family and grandchildren, but also golf, old books on Scotland and the outdoors, particularly the hills and glens of the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

Lumsden died in Scotland on 29th May 2012.

Additional research and image courtesy of Iain Lumsden (son).



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