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HomecommentMark's History: Why Bramley's Harry Lapish lost his life in Malta

Mark’s History: Why Bramley’s Harry Lapish lost his life in Malta

Here’s the fifth of a seven-part series by Mark Stevenson looking at some of the real-life incidents behind the names on West Leeds war memorials, as we lead into the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Today: Bramley War Memorial …

The people of Malta have the distinction of being the only entire population to be awarded the George Cross, Britain’s highest civilian honour for bravery.

The Siege of Malta in World War II was a military campaign in the Mediterranean that lasted from June 1940 to November 1942.

For 154 days and nights 6,700 tons of bombs fell on Malta. The bombing was so bad that it was the most bombed place on Earth, nearly pushing Malta to the brink of capitulation in the Summer of 1942. 

As you can imagine with 6,700 tons of bombs falling from the sky not all of them would go off. Someone had to clear all the ‘duds’ up.

Bramley war memorial main
Bramley War Memorial. Photo: West Leeds Dispatch

One of the people tasked with this duty was Aircraftman 1st Class Harry Lapish of 126 Sqdn Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

In a time of brave men Harry stood out enough to be mentioned in dispatches.

Harry died 2nd July 1942 aged 21 years from exploding enemy bombs dropped on Luqa in Malta. You can find his name on the Bramley War Memorial at Bramley Park.

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