Silver service is finally honoured

By John Fisher, September 30, 2013
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Leslie Silver and daughter Hilary Curwen with his accolade for his many RAF missions

Leslie Silver and daughter Hilary Curwen with his accolade for his many RAF missions

Former Leeds United chairman Leslie Silver has been belatedly honoured for wartime services.

Mr Silver has received the new Bomber Command Clasp in recognition of his contribution to the RAF during the Second World War. He took part in some 44 operations in Europe and 20 in the Far East.

He was 17 when he volunteered for the air force. “I wanted to be involved in the war because firstly I was Jewish and secondly I was a Communist,” the 88-year-old recalled.

“At that time people were basically anti-Fascist and wanted to fight back. We were very focused on the job so there was no time for fear.” He joined Bomber Command in February 1944 as a flight engineer. “My dream was to fly but my lack of education put pay to that.”

He particularly recalls a 1945 mission to Changi jail in Singapore with supplies for prisoners who were “in a terrible way”.

Although honoured to receive the award, “it also brings back memories of some very fine fellows who sadly didn’t get back”.

Mr Silver founded the Silver Paint and Lacquer Company in 1947 with a £250 gratuity after being demobbed from the RAF. As Kalon, it grew to become one of the largest paint manufacturers in Europe.

Last updated: 10:45am, September 30 2013