Best for both sides as Les Munro accepts medals offer


The generous offer by Les Munro to sell his medals and memorabilia to raise funds for the Bomber Command Memorial in London has now been matched by another from the British peer and collector Lord Ashcroft, which means that the collection will stay in New Zealand.
Lord Ashcroft has offered to pay £75,000 for the collection and the Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland is donating a further NZ$20,000. The collection will be displayed in the Museum.
This seems to be the best result possible. The medals and memorabilia (which include a signed menu from the post raid dinner at the Hungaria Restaurant) will now stay in New Zealand as a permanent reminder of the proud role played by the country’s aircrew in Bomber Command. And the fund to maintain the memorial gets a substantial financial boost.
Les Munro (and his family) should be congratulated for their generosity in making the collection available for posterity. Incidentally, the listing for the sale contains a very long article about Les, which can be downloaded as a PDF and is well worth reading.
Lord Ashcroft is well known for his philanthropy and his interest in military history. He is a trustee of the Imperial War Museum in London, which houses his collection of Victoria and George Crosses.

7 thoughts on “Best for both sides as Les Munro accepts medals offer

  1. Brian May March 24, 2015 / 3:04 pm

    That’s great news. Upon reading of Les offering to sell his medals for this purpose, I wrote to Lord Ashcroft and I am under the impression I was not the only one.

    So thanks to both Les Munro, for highlighting the issue and a huge thank you to Lord Ashcroft, who continues to support this worthy cause – indeed he paid a huge chunk of the funding to produce the monument in the first place.

  2. Nigel Favill March 24, 2015 / 3:34 pm

    A great result all round .. Many thanks to all involved in finding the perfect solution .

  3. David William Howarth March 24, 2015 / 5:18 pm

    Brilliant News. The best of both worlds.
    Thanks again for your generosity Les.

  4. David H Chamberlin (156 Squadron Association) March 24, 2015 / 8:53 pm

    A wonderfully generous and completely satisfactory resolution all round. Shall be at the Memorial in London next Monday and will spend some time there,with Les & Lord Ashcroft particularly in mind. If I ever manage to visit the MOTAT Museum in NZ again, I will look forward to viewing your medals, Les.

  5. Jerry Harwood March 25, 2015 / 8:25 am


  6. Dave Lefurgey April 24, 2015 / 8:17 pm

    Question for Les Munro. Do you remember an RAF pilot named “Shorty” Longbottom? Apparently he did quite a bit of the test pilot work with the “big bomb” and Lancasters used in the Dambuster’s Raid. I’m doing family history research. My Canadian uncle Bob Niven & Aussie Sydney Cotton did numerous photo recon flights in a civilian spy plane for MI6/Deuxieme Bureau pre-war. Once war began Brit “Shorty” joined their group and they developed photo recon for the RAF using Spitfires. Later Shorty became a test pilot. Thanks in advance for your help.–
    High River, Alberta, Canada, Take care, Dave

  7. Jane DeWitt May 18, 2015 / 8:46 pm

    Hi Les,

    I was wondering about your Brother Bob. He talked a lot about you to my Aunt Joan (Nee Churchill ) whom he married in England in the 1940’s. Bob never went back to NZ. He was such a lovely man. He has an adopted Daughter called Pam (Joan’s Daughter ) I have a lovely picture of Bob while he was in the NZRAF standing next to a Lancaster with several crew members. Unfortunately Bob passed away several years ago, a few years after Joan passed away. I would love to send you the picture I just mentioned if you would like to see it.

    Yours Sincerely,


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