Born youngest of 14 in a poor Wandsworth household in 1924, Les’s thirst for education and knowledge won him many school prizes, even though he had to go to school in old third hand boots and hand me downs.
He did many jobs as a youngster to earn money – even work as a ‘red flag’ boy walking in front of lorries that carried petrol and oil. He eventually signed up for the army at the age of 16! Les served as a Batman in the East Surrey Regiment during the Second World War. Amongst his duties were to act as a fire warden in the City of London during the blitz.
Upon demob Les trained as telegraphist. He worked for Cable and Wireless and for the Post Office. Les’ s search for knowledge and education led him to join the freemasonry, which he enjoyed immensely. Les taught himself Russian and wrote as yet an unpublished Second World War book based on a true life English spy Colonel Scotland working inside Hitler’s War machine.
Les only wanted the best for his wife – Doris and two sons Dennis and John and daughter Sandra. Struggling to ‘better’ his and their lives, Les did the unthinkable in his day – bought a house and got a mortgage in the then leafy suburb of New Malden.
Les worked like a Trojan and sadly passed away at the very young age of only 52. His son John said “He was an inspiration to me and it was only when he was gone did I realise just what a good father he had been.”
Copyright 2018 John Pepperrell