39. Cecil Lancelot “Lance” Howard (c1913-1989), WWII airman and chair of the Karrakatta Cemetery Board
In his manuscript, Karrakatta Memories, Rabbi Shalom Coleman referred to Lancelot Howard, Chairman of Karrakatta Cemetery Board from 1979-1987, as “a gentleman’s gentleman, benign, cool and considerate; a man who brought a dimension to the office and was conscious of the needs of Karrakatta without fear or favour”.
The ninth Chairman of the Board of Management had given distinguished service to his country during World War II. Lancelot Howard DFC enlisted with the RAAF in October 1940, serving in Bomber Command. He was attached to the RAF from 1942-1944 as a navigator. He completed a tour of 25 raids over enemy territory in 49 Squadron, reaching the rank of Pilot Officer (Nav).
Howard was a member of the flight crews under Guy Gibson VC known as “The Dambusters” that successfully breached the Moehne, Eder and Sorpe Dams in an exceptional dawn bombing raid in November 1943.
After the war Lancelot Howard worked in the Repatriation Department until 1953 when he was appointed Shareholder’s Liaison Officer at The West Australian. He remained there until ill-health forced his early retirement in 1972. Lancelot Howard was committed to the establishment of the RAAF Association memorial estate for ex-servicemen in Bull Creek, and served six years as President of the RAAF Association (WA).
On his retirement from the active workforce, Lancelot Howard refused an MBE in the Queen’s Honour List, stating he believed it was awarded to him on behalf of the Association and he considered it insufficient recognition of the work of the Association. Karrakatta Cemetery and Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park made great strides under his chairmanship.