John Lamb, F’66

John Lamb, photographed in London, November 1975

John Lamb, London, November 1975

Captain John Lamb, serving in HQ for 3 Brigade of the Rhodesian African Rifles, was killed on active service on 23rd December 1975.

John was killed in an air accident whilst visiting troops in the field at Christmas, travelling in an Alouette 111 which hit an overhead steel cable.

The accident occurred on Shinda Orchards Farm, between Cashel and Umtali, Op Thrasher, 3 km from the Mozambique border. The steel cable was used to ferry fruit from the orchards to the packshed on a nearby hill.

Major General John Shaw (48), Colonel David Parker (38), Captain John Lamb (27), Captain Ian Robertson (29), and Sargent Pieter van Rensburg (22) all perished in the tragedy. The pilot, Air Sub-Lieutenant Johannes van Rensburg was seriously injured.

John was a most competent officer whose sense of humour and engaging manner were always in evidence and under-wrote the esteem and popularity in which he was held by all ranks.

John and his wife, Beryllyn, were married in April 1973 during the height of the conflict in Rhodesia – they enjoyed a short but very happy marriage. Their daughter Catherine was born in August 1976.

Lt. John Lamb :Taken outside the Main Street Methodist Church. April 1973 on the occasion of his marriage to Beryllyn Thompson.

Lieutenant John Lamb :Taken outside the Main Street Methodist Church. April 1973 on the occasion of his marriage to Beryllyn Thompson.

From Captain John Lamb's funeral

The gun carriage carrying John’s coffin at the combined military funeral held for Major General John Shaw, Colonel David Parker and Captain John Lamb at St Mary’s Anglican Cathedral, Salisbury, on Tuesday 30 December 1975

RLI/RAR guard of honour at the funeral for Capt John Lamb

The combined RLI and RAR guard of honour in the funeral procession at the combined military funeral held for Major General John Shaw, Colonel David Parker and Captain John Lamb

Top military and government offices in the funeral procession

Part of the funeral procession for Major General John Shaw, Colonel David Parker and Captain John Lamb, including top military and government officers. The front row, from left to right, Lt Gene Peter Walls, Minister PK van der Byl, Commissioner Peter Sherren, Air Marshall Mick McLaren, and the SA Military Attaché, Brigadier LL Gordon

Source: Death Notice, Steve Lunderstedt, Nhowo and The Rhodesia Herald 24 December 1975.
Buried at Warren Hills, Salisbury. A Falcon College old boy.

Picture Credit: All pictures from the funeral were taken by B. Kaschula

Text Credit: derived from Rhodesian Combined Forces Roll of Honour, kindly provided by Gerry van Tonder, one of its co-authors, plus additional text from Beryllyn Duncan


 

John Lamb - from the Falcon 1st XI Hockey Team photo

John Lamb – from the Falcon 1st XI Hockey Team photo

In December Captain John Lamb was killed in a helicopter crash near Umtali.

John Lamb entered the College in January 1962 from Whitestone School.

In his final year, 1966, he was Head of Founders House, was Captain of Cricket and was selected for the Rhodesian Schools Hockey Team.

After leaving the College, he kept up his association by playing for the Old Boys and, more recently, as an officer in the R.A.R., by bringing out platoons for training on College property.

As a schoolboy he is best remembered for his unfailing honesty, loyalty, hard work and sense of fun.

It is tragic that an officer with such qualities should have met so untimely an end.

To his parents, wife and Tony, his twin brother, we offer our sincere condolences.
From The Falcon, 1976


I was an officer at 3 (Independent) Company at the time of his death. John had been a national service officer with Intake 108 at 1 (Independent) Company, RR, at Wankie before joining the regular army.

He was killed when the helicopter he was in hit an overhead cable whilst en-route to Umtali, about 45 minutes after we had parted company at Inyanga. This was 23/12/1975.

On the day of the accident, John was touring the country with General Shaw. He came over to talk to me – recognised me, even though I was only a Form II when he left.

Dave Stedman – Hervey 1970

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