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RAF war veteran Jack Ambler dies, aged 90
9:00am Friday 8th March 2013 in News
A Bradford-born Air Force Veteran who flew out some of the first survivors of the Bridge Over the Kwai has died in Canada aged 90.
Jack Ambler, who grew up in Tong and left school early to help support his family by working in the woollen mills before his Air Force career, died at a veterans hospital in Regina last month.
At the age of 16, he went on a glider course that got him accepted into the Royal Air Force and a year later, in 1943, he was posted to Canada for flight training, which eventually took him to Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan where he met his future wife at a dance.
Mr Ambler served in the RAF until 1946 as a DC3 pilot, transporting supplies and gliders over the battlefields of Holland, Belgium, France and over the Rhine. After the Second World War he was stationed in Burma and flew out some of the first survivors of the Bridge over the River Kwai.
In 1947 his Canadian sweetheart Nel came to England and they married before moving back to Canada in 1949.
Nel died in 2011 after 64 years of marriage and many trips throughout the world. Mr Ambler continued to travel and just last May took one of his daughters, Jacqueline, on a tour of places he flew into during WWII.
As well as Jacqueline, he is survived by children Jack and Dawn, seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, numerous nephews and nieces and his 91-year-old sister Gladys, who lives in Pontefract.
Mr Ambler had joined the Royal Canadian Air Force Association in 1951 and served in various positions through to president. From 1957 to 1962 he was Commanding Officer for 40 Squadron of the Moose Jaw Royal Canadian Air Cadets.
Throughout the years he had also pursued higher education and earned a Certificate of Business Administration from the University of Regina, working for the United Way for 28 years.
He served in many volunteer capacities with veterans and with children with emotional problems, and received many awards and accolades.
His niece Carole Dorking, of Pontefract, said: “He loved him visits home to Yorkshire and never forgot his Bradford roots despite a life of travelling. Whenever he came he’d go and see an old RAF pal from Skipton then tie his stay in with another trip to Europe for some kind of veteran celebration.”