Pat Leonard served during the nice warfare as a Chaplain to the Forces in France, Belgium and, after the Armistice, in Germany. besides the numerous countless numbers of letters he wrote to the relations of these ‘parishioners’ who died or have been wounded, he came upon time to explain for his mom and dad again at domestic the bleak truth of lifestyles 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 supply an surprisingly goal 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 superb to call yet a couple of. The extracts chosen from his letters are choked with aspect, humor, self deprecation and simply occasionally while judged by way of today’s criteria, light ‘political incorrectness’! often called ‘a veritable combating 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 earlier than this chance arises to percentage his account of a lifestyles which the area recollects as ‘dreadful past belief’. analyzing it demonstrates that regardless of the ghastliness, human features emerged with which we must always all be proud. Pat Leonard used to be born in 1889 right into a clergy kinfolk in Cumbria, MPG (Pat) Leonard went from being Head of college at Rossall to Oriel university, 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 approved as Chaplain to the eighth Battalion, the King’s personal, from September 1915 within the battlefields of the Somme presented the DSO for bravery and pointed out in dispatches, he transferred to the RFC in early 1918.
After the conflict he was once a lot fascinated with the advance and progress of TocH during the global. in this case after a interval as Rector of Hatfield and ten years in Glasgow as Provost of St. Mary’s Cathedral he used to be consecrated Bishop of Thetford in 1953.