Rutherford, Les


Rutherford, Les
R L Rutherford
Robert Leslie Rutherford


Nine items. The collection contains three oral history interviews with bomb aimer Robert Leslie "Les" Rutherford (1918 - 2019, 146263 Royal Air Force), his prisoner of war diary, material about entertainment in the Stalag Luft 3 Belaria compound and a photograph. Les Rutherford served as a despatch rider in the army, he was evacuated from Dunkirk and volunteered to transfer to the RAF. He became a bomb aimer with 50 Squadron and completed 24 operations. He was shot down over Germany on 20th December 1943 and became a prisoner of war.

The collection has been loaned to the IBCC Digital Archive for digitisation by Les Rutherford and catalogued by IBCC Digital Archive staff.




IBCC Digital Archive


This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit and


Rutherford, RL

Collection Items

Interview with Les Rutherford. Four
Les Rutherford talks about the prisoner of war diary he compiled while an inmate of Belaria compound at Stalag Luft 3. Two months after arriving, he exchanged three chocolate bars for the notebook which became this personal memoir. He recollects…

Interview with Les Rutherford. Three
Les Rutherford joined the army and was in the 51st Highland Division which formed the rear-guard defence, allowing for the evacuation of Dunkirk. He escaped out to sea on a barn door and was picked up and taken to England by a French trawler. He…

Interview with Les Rutherford. One
During this interview Les describes his experience as a despatch rider in France in 1940 before escaping from Dunkirk and returning to the United Kingdom, eventually joining the Royal Air Force. He also describes his training in South Africa and his…

Les Rutherford's prisoner of war parcel inventory
List of contents of British Red Cross Parcel sent from Mrs E Rutherford to Les Rutherford while prisoner of war at Belaria camp Stalag Luft 3.

Programme for Christmas show
The programme lists 23 pieces to be played a the prisoner of war Christmas show at Belaria camp.

Warnung der Regierungen der Sowjetunion, der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika und Grossbrittanniens an alle deutschen Kommandanten
The Governments of the Soviet Union, United States and Great Britain order that no Allied prisoner of war shall be mistreated. Offenders will be relentlessly pursued and punished.

Len Whiteley presents Fanfare
Programme of musical entertainment with signatures of the artists.

English airman's grave
A wooden cross in a cemetery bears the inscription 'S. Englishe Flieger. Namen unbekannt'. Trees are visible in the foreground.

Les Rutherford's prisoner of war diary
Prisoner of war diary of Les Rutherford, captured the 20 December 1943 and then detained at Stalag Luft 3 (Belaria). It consists mostly of sketches and cartoons but also information on camp life, photographs and German newspaper cuttings. The diary…
View all 9 items

Collection Tree

  • Rutherford, Les