Alfred Leder

Leading Aircraftman, 37 Service Flying Training School
Service number 1397463
Died 7 Jan 1943
Buried Calgary Jewish Cemetery, Canada
Age 25

Headstone Inscription

Alfred was born on 16 May 1917 in Heinrich-Beck-Straße 53, Chemnitz, Germany to David, a well-known Jewish merchant and art collector in the city, and Leah nee Bernstein and he had an older brother Rudolph and a younger sister Ruth. When the Nazis came to power, Alfred and his sister Ruth were sent by their parents to Palestine in 1934 on the Youth Aliyah to undertake agricultural training at Kibbutz En Charod. Their mother visited them in 1934 and Ruth who had left the kibbutz, became seriously ill and was sent to a Jewish children’s home in Italy in 1937 for further recovery. Ruth returned to Israel where she remained for the rest of her life. In 1936, their older brother Rudolph and his wife Juliette also travelled to Palestine before returning to Paris where their daughter Andrée was born in 1938.

Alfred then travelled to England in 1938, and in the 1939 Register he was living with his parents who had managed to escape Germany, at 45 Christchurch Avenue, Willesden. David was listed as a refugee with no occupation but soon began an apprenticeship as a turner. After losing a finger he had to give up the training and became a volunteer at a fire station working on anti-aircraft defence. He died aged 58 in 1947.

After the beginning of World War II, Alfred decided to actively fight against Hitler fascism and in 1941 enlisted in the Royal Air Force.

Alfred was on board Harvard AJ953 which was on a training flight over Canada. Three airmen lost their lives in the mid-air collision and the resulting crash when two North American Harvard II aircraft, AJ912 and AJ953 were involved. Both aircraft were on training flights: AJ953 was flying about two and a half miles east of Conrich, Alberta, when it collided with AJ912; LAC McAuley, aboard AJ912, lost his life as did F/O Corlett and LAC Leder, aboard AJ953. 

A Stolperstein commemorating Alfred was laid outside the former family home in Chemnitz in 2015.

Photo courtesy of Dr Bettina Leder
Photo courtesy of Dr Bettina Leder