Obituary: well-known St Albans charity founder passes away

Cyril Lambert

Cyril Lambert - Credit: Archant

A well-known figure in the Redbourn community has passed away aged 92.

Scotsman Cyril Lambert came to the village to take over the Post Office and store in 1972 as sub-post master.

For nearly 20 years, until 1991, Cyril got up at 5.30am to oversee the day-to-day running of the shop, handle enquiries, process transactions, and care for customers and take deliveries.

Until then, Cyril had an action-packed life - at a very young age he moved from Hamilton in Scotland to Gillingham in Kent, where his mother started a guest house.

Every morning, the whole family would get up very early to help out with running of the boarding house and Cyril used to polish all the guests’ shoes.

When the Second World War broke out in 1939, the Lambert family were on holiday in Dymchurch, Kent - on the radio they were told not to panic, and to not to cut short their getaway before returning home.

As Kent was seen as a prime target for bombs Cyril’s whole school had been evacuated by the time the family got back, and the Lamberts belatedly followed, settling in Reading for the remainder of the war.

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At 18 Cyril signed up to the army, eventually becoming deployed in India as a paratrooper - a military parachutist.

By the time war was over, he had become a sergeant of The Royal Artillery and Cyril remembered those days fondly.

When he came home, Cyril became a cashier at the TSB bank, and this is where he met his future wife, Peggy. He later became a roof-tile sales manager.

After moving to Redbourn and taking over the post office, Cyril become an integral part of the community and was a founding member of the Redbourn Care Group, a charity which helps residents of the village who are ill, bereaved, less mobile, or would like company.

This was recognised in 2003 when he was given a Queen’s Jubilee Award for his outstanding care in the community with the group - as part of the award, Cyril and Peggy were invited to a royal garden party.

In the village, Cyril also took over the responsibilty for laying commemorative wreaths at the war memorial.

He was a family man throughout his life and after Peggy’s death in 2007, Cyril moved to a care home in Lancashire’s Lytham St Annes to be close to his daughter, Lesley.

Cyril is survived by three sisters and a brother, and leaves two children and four grandchildren.

His son, John, 57, said: “He is very much missed, but leaves many fond and happy memories, and so many people have reminded us of their memories of him.”

Family connections to Redbourn extended beyond Cyril’s time as postmaster – Cyril inherited the post-office from his brother-in-law, Ron Reek, and Cyril’s successor was Ron’s son, Alec Reek.