Lambourn was born in London and studied at Goldsmith's College and the RA Schools between 1921-26. In 1936, when on a tour of the West Country, he discovered the fishing village of Mousehole near Penzance, and when a disused school came up for sale he bought it and converted it into his studio home.
The story of his life during WWII, and the happenstance creation of the Army Decorating Section by Lambourn, then his return to the school-turned-theatre (Merlin Theatre, Mousehole) through which he involved the community in the works of Shakespeare, is told in 100 Years in Newlyn. From 1970, he and his family moved to St Just. John Halkes, NAG curator, wrote the biographical monograph, George Lambourn (1900-1977) to accompany a celebratory exhibition of the artist's paintings and drawings held at the Newlyn Art Gallery in 1982.