Pat Leonard served through the nice struggle as a Chaplain to the Forces in France, Belgium and, after the Armistice, in Germany. besides the various enormous quantities of letters he wrote to the family 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 fact 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 strangely goal view of military existence, and of the activity of the multitasked chaplain who used to be anticipated to adopt the jobs of counselor, comforter, caterer, censor, leisure officer and activities best to call yet a number of. The extracts chosen from his letters are packed with element, humor, self deprecation and simply occasionally whilst judged through today’s criteria, gentle ‘political incorrectness’! referred to as ‘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 adorned for bravery.
90 years have handed earlier than this chance arises to proportion his account of a lifestyles which the area recalls as ‘dreadful past belief’. analyzing it demonstrates that regardless of the ghastliness, human traits emerged with which we must always all be proud. Pat Leonard was once born in 1889 right into a clergy kin 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 ahead of being accredited 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 battle he used to be a lot taken with the advance and progress of TocH in the course of the global. for that reason 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.