WWII Veteran Philip Lamb Laid To Rest

May 12, 2013

Philip Lamb — one of four black Bermudians to serve in the Royal Air Force in World War Two [1939-45] — was laid to rest yesterday [May 5] after passing away at the age of 90.

Mr. Lamb reached the rank of Leading Aircraftsman with the RAF and lived through a German bombing raid which left him hospitalised with serious injuries.

Philip Vincent Honky Lamb Funeral, Bermuda May 11 2013-15

Mr Lamb — a St. David’s Islander — was laid to rest at the Chapel of Ease in St. David’s, and the service was attended by East End representatives including Susann Roberts Holshouser and Lovitta Foggo. Lt/Col Edward Lamb spoke at the funeral, as did Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Safety Michael Dunkley.

Minister Dunkley said, “Let me first express my thanks to the family for the opportunity to share, on behalf of the Premier and people of Bermuda, in this service of celebration of a life well lived.

“Long life is a blessing and something for which anyone would be thankful. But long life, lived without risks, without adventure, without triumphs and tragedies is just long…..and might not qualify as truly “living”.

“Seventy years ago when a young St. David’s Islander answered the call to serve in the greatest armed conflict of the modern era, he left a small outpost of the Empire and stood shoulder to shoulder with men and women united in the cause of freedom.

“The scorched earth and the wail of air raid sirens must have been a stark contrast compared to the beauty of Turtle Bay and the quiet lanes of St. David’s. But Philip Lamb did himself, his family and his country proud.

Philip Vincent Honky Lamb Funeral, Bermuda May 11 2013-13Philip Vincent Honky Lamb Funeral, Bermuda May 11 2013-1

“In fact, I suspect that if Mr. Churchill had known of the potential secret weapon of the Tribes Lamb, Pitcher, Fox and many other well known here in St. David’s, the war might well have been over sooner,” continued Minister Dunkley.

“Bermuda is justifiably proud of all our veterans. In two World Wars, Bermudians have seen action in some of the most dangerous battles; from The Somme to North Africa and Palestine. It is incredible to think that “Honky” Lamb was a volunteer.

“Furthermore at a time when we seem to beg people to serve their fellow man with not even at the risk of being wounded or killed, the story of this man who joined the BMA and who ended up wounded thousands of miles from home should serve to inspire us all.

“As Leading Aircraftsman Philip Lamb enters into his well earned rest, I am humbled and thankful for his service and his example. On behalf of the Premier, the Government and people of Bermuda I express my condolences to his family and encourage you to find comfort in the memory of his incredible life,” concluded Minister Dunkley.

The Bermuda Historical Society’s Andrew Bermingham — a close friend of Mr. Lamb’s — previously told Bernews that the St. David’s Islander was a genuine Bermudian hero, one of the last of the island’s “greatest generation” who fought the fascist Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan not for individual glory or recognition but because it was the right thing to do.

Mr Lamb’s death, and military service, was reported internationally, with the UK’s Independent running a story, as well as various military and RAF websites.

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Comments (7)

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  1. ggurl says:

    In our hearts forever!

  2. Godspeed Uncle Honkey,
    I will miss getting to chat with you about old days, the war etc and thank you for taking the time to share your memories with me. I will cherish them and your memory forever.
    Love Always

  3. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    Per ardua ad astra…RAF motto.

    (“Through adversity to the stars”).

    Well Done,Rest Well and Thank you for serving.

  4. DreamCatcher says:

    Rest well Uncle Honky! Your send off was special and I enjoyed the tributes to your life. Amazing what you don’t know about someone you love dearly. Special thanks to Eddie Lamb and Minster Dunkley for their jubilant tributes. Lots of tears of joy and laughter for a man who lived more than most. XX

  5. Red says:

    May GOD Bless WWII War Vet. P. Lamb. GOD Bless Bermuda.

  6. Prayerful says:

    Minister Dunkley,

    Your tribute was beautiful! Very well written and delivered.


  7. tgaotu says:

    Good to know that even in those times of prejudice, that even a black man could rise to such a position of skill and responsibility – in the face of all that would tell us otherwise. It goes to show that if you proved yourself, you were given the chance to prove yourself further. You see, it is people like this man who should be worthy of being heroes, not politicians and other spurious nominees. Vets are the true heroes. Both of my grandfathers served in the war.