The Lennard Bertie Taylor Pen

Lennard Bertie Taylor

Was the first of four children born 23 January 1922 to Bertie Edward Taylor and Christina Beatrice in Waikato, New Zealand

(Photo Source Ancestry)

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), or Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS) often referred to as simply "The Plan", was a massive, joint military aircrew training program created by the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, during the Second World War.

Lennard travelled to RCAF Station Fingal, Ontario, Canada to train as an air gunner. He was one of only 395 New Zealanders trained in this specialty. Fingal was known as the #4 Bomber and Gunnery School and Lennard was enrolled in the 19th A.G. (Air Gunner) class. His class ran from 27 October 1941 to 21 November 1941.

On 19 November 1941 Lennard was presented with the Waterman 100 Year pen for obtaining the highest marks in all subjects according to the Royal Canadian Air Force operations record book : C-12333

Air Gunner on Lancaster Bombers - Interested in stature as most gunners in bomber turrets we generally small because of such a tight and cramped position

(Photo Source

4 September 1943 Married - Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England

    (England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index Vol. 7A Page 1502)

Born 1 November 1921 Leeds, West Yorkshire, England 

    (England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index Vol. 9B Page 516)

Eileen volunteered for the WAAF and served as a Teleprinter operator during the war.

10 September 1943 - Promoted to Flight Sergeant

(Source Ancestry)

10 March 1944 - Promoted to Flying Officer

(Source Ancestry)

It should also be noted that Lennard served as a wireless operator as well as an air gunner. His duel mastery of two jobs within the Lancaster’s operational configuration made him a remarkable asset that served three tours fighting the Axis.

The Lancaster was one of the most dangerous places to be in the entire war – the life expectancy of a new recruit was just two weeks. A Lancaster Bomber had a crew of seven: pilot, navigator, bomb aimer, flight engineer, wireless operator, mid gunner and rear gunner. Each role needed a very particular set of skills. The Lancaster Bombers carried out some of the most noted missions during the war including the Dambuster raids on Germany.

25 April 1944 - Travelled from Liverpool, England to Wellington New Zealand with Eileen.

        Aboard Port Phillip of the Conrad White Start Limited 

(Photo source - Ancestry passenger logs)

30 September 1944 - Transferred from active duty to reserve

(Source Ancestry)

Lennard and Eileen’s long marriage brought three daughters into this world. Their love and devotion to their parents and pride in their military service was what brought their father’s pen to us for restoration. It was my honor and privilege to research this wonderful couple and their contributions to the success of Allied victory in WWII.

Election Polls Data

1946 - North Street, Morrinsville    Poultry Farmer

1949 - North Street, Morrinsville    Poultry Farmer

1954 - Matangi    Sharemilker

1954 - Tatuanui    Poultry Man

1957 - Tauwhare Road, Matangi    Farmer

1963 - Cambridge Road, Waikato, Matamata    Farmer  Eileen - Married

1969 - Cambridge Road, Waikato, Matamata    Farmer

1972 - 337 Cobham Drive, Waikato, Hamilton East     Storeman    Eileen - Housewife

1978 - Eileen was on the election polls but Lennard was not. 337 Cobham Drive, Waikato, Hamilton East    Housewife

1981 - 337 Cobham Drive, Waikato, Hamilton East     Storeman

Based on election polls from the 1940s until Lennard’s passing, he led a quiet life as a farmer and his wife, Eileen, was primarily a home maker.

Lennard passed on 19 January 1987 and is interred at Hamilton Park Cemetery in Hamilton City, Waikato, New Zealand


Additional Notes: Many times in official records his first name was misspelled to reflect the common spelling of Leonard instead of Lennard.