Nicolaus LAMBING  (1919 - 1998)

Nicolaus (spelled Miklós in the civil register and Nicolae in the church register) LAMBING was born in Uihei on 18th October 1919, the only child of Johann LAMBING and Susanna ENGELMANN. The images below show his birth record in hungarian, plus the first photograph we have of Nicolaus, taken soon after the family's arrival in America in 1922, and another later family portrait taken around 1926:

At the age of 2½ Nicolaus, together with his parents, emigrated to Philadelphia in the USA. For details of the ship's manifest on which details of the family appear, see Johann LAMBING's file.

The following four photographs were taken during the mid- to late-1920s in Philadelphia and Elverson or Pottstown, where his many cousins lived. Nicolaus's aunt, Anna ENGELMANN, had emigrated to Philadelphia in 1905 as a young girl and had married a Michael WAMBACH who was originally from Gross Jetscha (Nagy Jecsa) and who had also emigrated in 1905. They had 16 children, whereas Nicolaus was an only child. See Johann LAMBING's page for a WAMBACH photo.

It is not yet known where Nicolaus and his parents lived exactly, but some recent detective work has shown that the family probably lived above, or close to, Noel's butcher store on the corner of 305 Oxford Street West and Cadwal(la)der Street. St. Michael's and St. Peter's were two local Catholic schools which he may have attended, or even Moffat's public school. The young family returned to Uihei in Romania six years after leaving the village for America. Apparently, Nicolaus's father, Johann LAMBING, was homesick for the old country. The two photographs below were taken aboard the ship 'Albert Ballin' on the homeward voyage in late June, 1928. Nicolaus is pictured with his guitar in the centre of both images. The colour picture is of the ship itself.

The photographs below show, firstly, the Alexanderhausen (Şandra) school orchestra around 1929 - Nicolaus is in the front row, right, with his violin. This would have been taken soon after the family had returned to Uihei.

The second and third photographs were taken around 1930 and show Nicolaus with his mother and paternal grandmother, and with his father and paternal grandmother. The fourth picture, again from the early 1930s, are probably of his classmates (he is sitting front right). The fifth image was taken in 1933,  probably when Nicolaus had left school to begin his 3-year apprenticeship as a salesman in a shop in Perjamosch. He is posing in front of the 'Sommerküche' (summer kitchen) at his home. The picture was taken on the same day as that of his paternal grandparents (see 'Nicolaus LAMBING 1863 - 1940' file), in 1933. The last picture shows Nicolaus (probably aged about 18 or 19) playing his new accordion, a Hohner Organetta IV Piano Accordion with 41 keys on a curved fingerboard, and 120 bass buttons. The instrument was featured in Hohner's 1938 catalogue.

At the age of 17 in 1937, Nicolaus joined the Romanian Army as a musician and was stationed primarily in Turnu Severin. The following pictures show him during his years in the Romanian Army (up until 1944 when he transferred to the German Army). The first two were taken in Herkules Bad and show him with his mother (Susanna Engelmann) and a girlfriend (Irma Hollschwander); the third is of him with his father; the fourth with friends and the last is part of a family portrait taken just before he joined the German army in 1943.

In 1943, ethnic German men living in Romania were given the choice of staying in the Romanian Army or else transferring to the German Army. Nicolaus chose the German Army, joining on 27th July 1943 and remaining in Government service until 10th May 1945, and eventually giving himself up to the British Army whilst in Austria, fleeing from the Russians who were advancing west. He was taken to Italy as a prisoner of war and eventually shipped to England, arriving on 17th August 1946 from Rimini. Nick's identity disc tag carried the inscription: -1483-4./Kampfmarschverb. Kurmark SS. T-Stuba-Oranienburg and the unit was given as 4./Aufkl. Abteilung 16. Division. His rank had been SS-Sturmmann (lance corporal) and he was taken prisoner by the western allies on 19th May 1945 in St. Veit, Austria, and released in Great Britain on 31st December 1948.

The  photographs above  were taken at a POW camp near Cambridge in 1946 and at another camp in Lemsford in 1948, together with his Certificate of Registration. This document is the Certificate of Registration, written in both german and english, issued on 24th January 1948 at Hertford in England. The  spelling of Nicolaus's name and his home village (Uihei) are both slightly mis-spelled, Uihei becoming 'Vikeui'. The document also states that an  Identity Certificate was issued on 22nd January 1948 by O. C. 29 GPWW Camp Royston. A search of the Home Office records showed Nicolaus to be a German national born in Romania of a German father. There is also another  declaration by the Swiss Embassy at the foot of the page.

Below are images of the marriage certificate, which also had an authorisation by the Swiss Embassy in London on the reverse side, together with Nick and Trudi's wedding picture taken on 19th February 1949. They honeymooned in Hastings for a week.

Their first child, Diana, was born 28th July 1949 and the young family lived for a while in an old gypsy caravan in a field with other caravans. Within a couple of months, Nick had seen an old London double-decker bus advertised for sale in the local paper. He purchased the bus (most probably from Daniels' scrap yard in Rainham, Essex - see picture below) and it was driven to a site by a football pitch near to where Nick was working, in Barnes Wood. The tyres were removed and he re-painted the bus green (it had been red) to blend in with the surroundings. It later had to be temporarily re-fitted with tyres and re-sited at the edge of the field, with Trudi hanging on to all the pots and pans!

The family moved into the bus just before Christmas 1949 and were to stay there for three years. The first photo below shows Nick with new-born Diana and the second photo below shows Nick with his motorbike and two friends in 1950, with Diana in the pram in the background, then Diana in front of the bus . Many years later (in 2004) we were able to establish that the motorbike had been a 1939 'James' with a Villiers 2-stroke engine, registered in Bedfordshire in July 1939 and with the registration number DBN 865.

Their second child, Roland (who was born deaf), was born 30th September 1950 and the following pictures were taken during the family's time living in the bus, including a trip to Switzerland to see Trudi's family in 1952:

The young family lived in the bus for three years.

In October 1952, they moved to a tied cottage in Lower Shuckburgh in Warwickshire, where Nick had obtained a position as gardener at the large manor house.

The third child, Nicolas, was born 10th July 1954, and one of the pictures shows Diana and Roland making mud pies whilst Trudi is giving birth to Nicolas at home. The following pictures were taken during the family's six years in Lower  Shuckburgh, although the colour pictures of the cottage were taken at a later date.

At the age of four, both Diana and Roland began school. Diana went first to the local primary school and then to the convent in Southam; Roland was sent away to board in a deaf school in Boston Spa, Yorkshire, where he was to stay for four years.

In 1957, Nick became a naturalised British citizen. The following is an image of the document, together with Nick's later passport photo:

In the summer of 1958, the family moved to another tied cottage in a tiny hamlet called Careby in Lincolnshire. Nick had obtained another job as gardener with the  local aristocratic family. The family stayed here for around three years. Diana went to the local Catholic school in Stamford before passing her 11-plus and joining Stamford High School; Roland was sent to a new deaf school in Birmingham; Nicolas went to the local primary school in Careby. The following pictures were taken during the family's time in Careby and show the cottage itself; Nick with his new Vespa scooter; Nick winning first prize at a fancy dress competition on holiday at Hopton-on-Sea, and three other pictures from the same holiday and Diana, Roland and Nicolas with two deaf boys down by the stream in Careby in May 1960.

In the spring of 1961, the family moved again, this time to a small village called Thurcaston in Leicestershire. They lived in a tied house built in 1875 and Nick worked at the local manor house. Diana went to Quorn Grammar School; Roland went to a deaf school in Leicester and was able to travel back home every day for the first time in his life, and Nicolas went to the local primary school which was next door to our house.

 On 6th April 1962, Nick and Trudi's fourth child, Peter, was born. He was just over a year old when the whole family travelled to Switzerland for a holiday in 1963. They had been persuaded to think about emigrating there by some of Trudi's family, and on March 21st 1964, the family did indeed emigrate to Switzerland. The following pictures show the house at 58, Anstey Lane, Thurcaston, and three family pictures taken between 1961 and 1964.

The following four photos were taken in Wangen-bei-Olten, the family's new home in Switzerland. The first one is of Trudi's old family home in Ruchackerweg, and the next three were taken at their next home in the village in Bahnhofplatz, two of them including  Nicolaus's father, Johann, who came on a visit in 1966.

In the summer of 1967, the whole family visited Nick's parents in Romania for the first time, and again in 1970 and 1972 Nick and Trudi made two more visits. The three pictures below of Nick were taken during these trips; the third one includes his parents (Johann and Susanna), together with Frau Pop, whose family eventually inherited the house.

In the early 1970s, the family moved to a modern flat in Olten, the neighbouring town, where Nick and Trudi helped out with caretaking duties.

In 1978, Nick and Trudi decided to move back to England, and with the help of a couple of old friends whom they had known since their early married days, they bought a brand new house in Panshanger near Welwyn-Garden-City. Nick managed to find a job as a cleaner locally with ICI until he took early voluntary retirement  a few years later. The pictures below show Nick and Trudi, together with their youngest son, Peter, who would stay in England for only one year, being met at Victoria station in London by Diana  on their return to England; Nick and Trudi, together with a brother and sister-in-law of Trudi's, in front of the new house (35, Brooksfield); and three generations of LAMBINGs at a family gathering in Switzerland in 1996.

By this time, i.e. in 1990, Nick and Trudi had moved again - this time to a bungalow (4, Ringley Road) in Horsham, the town where their daughter, Diana, was living. It was to be Nick's last home before he passed away on 30th April, 1998.

Nick died in the early hours of 30th April, 1998, at Hazelhurst Residential and Nursing Home in Horsham. He was cremated at the Surrey and Sussex Crematorium on 6th May 1998 and the family (his three sons came over from Switzerland) scattered his ashes in Warnham Park, a favourite local haunt of Nick's. Below are pictures taken on 6th May, 1998, plus a copy of his death certificate:


In 2002, having moved to a completely refurbished flat in New Street in Horsham four years earlier (just prior to Nick passing away) Trudi decided to move one final time back to Switzerland to be near her brothers, sisters, sons and grandsons. Within three months of her decision, she had settled into her new apartment in Lengnau, county Berne, where she still lives.

In June 2005 whilst visiting Uihei, I added my father's name to both the family gravestones (Lambing/Engelmann and Lambing/Kronberger) as follows:

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