Pat Leonard served through the nice warfare as a Chaplain to the Forces in France, Belgium and, after the Armistice, in Germany. in addition to the various enormous quantities of letters he wrote to the family members of these ‘parishioners’ who died or have been wounded, he stumbled on time to explain for his mom and dad again at domestic the grim 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 aim view of military lifestyles, and of the task of the multitasked chaplain who was once anticipated to adopt the jobs of counselor, comforter, caterer, censor, leisure officer and activities perfect to call yet a couple of. The extracts chosen from his letters are packed with element, humor, self deprecation and simply occasionally while judged by way of today’s criteria, light ‘political incorrectness’! often called ‘a veritable battling 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 embellished for bravery.
90 years have handed ahead of this chance arises to percentage his account of a existence which the realm recalls as ‘dreadful past belief’. examining it demonstrates that regardless of the ghastliness, human traits 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 faculty 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 sooner than being permitted as Chaplain to the eighth Battalion, the King’s personal, from September 1915 within the battlefields of the Somme offered 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 inquisitive about the advance and progress of TocH through the international. to that end 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.