Pat Leonard served during the nice struggle as a Chaplain to the Forces in France, Belgium and, after the Armistice, in Germany. besides the various 1000s of letters he wrote to the family of these ‘parishioners’ who died or have been wounded, he chanced on time to explain for his mom and dad again at domestic the grim truth of existence within the Trenches, and at the makeshift aerodromes from which the pilots of the Royal Flying Corps operated from the Observer’s seat which liberated his spirit from the dust of Flanders.
Very a lot a ‘front-line’ priest, his descriptions offer an strangely target view of military lifestyles, and of the task of the multitasked chaplain who used to be anticipated to adopt the jobs of counselor, comforter, caterer, censor, leisure officer and activities ultimate to call yet a couple of. The extracts chosen from his letters are jam-packed with aspect, humor, self deprecation and simply occasionally whilst judged by way of today’s criteria, gentle ‘political incorrectness’! often called ‘a veritable struggling with parson’ (because of his prowess within the boxing ring) he additionally performed rugby for the RAF, used to be pointed out in dispatches, and used to be adorned for bravery.
90 years have handed ahead of this chance arises to percentage his account of a lifestyles which the realm recollects as ‘dreadful past belief’. studying it demonstrates that regardless of the ghastliness, human features emerged with which we should always all be proud. Pat Leonard used to be born in 1889 right into a clergy relatives in Cumbria, MPG (Pat) Leonard went from being Head of college at Rossall to Oriel collage, Oxford on a arithmetic scholarship. After graduating and acquiring a TA fee within the King’s personal Royal Lancaster Regiment, Leonard served as a curate in a Manchester parish earlier than being authorized as Chaplain to the eighth Battalion, the King’s personal, from September 1915 within the battlefields of the Somme provided the DSO for bravery and pointed out in dispatches, he transferred to the RFC in early 1918.
After the conflict he used to be a lot focused on the improvement and progress of TocH during the global. as a result after a interval as Rector of Hatfield and ten years in Glasgow as Provost of St. Mary’s Cathedral he was once consecrated Bishop of Thetford in 1953.