The Fighting Padre: Pat Leonard's Letters From the Trenches 1915-1918

The Fighting Padre: Pat Leonard's Letters From the Trenches 1915-1918


Pat Leonard served during the nice conflict as a Chaplain to the Forces in France, Belgium and, after the Armistice, in Germany. besides the numerous 1000s 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 bleak 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 target 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 superb to call yet a couple of. The extracts chosen from his letters are filled with aspect, humor, self deprecation and simply occasionally whilst judged via 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, was once pointed out in dispatches, and used to be embellished for bravery.

90 years have handed ahead of this chance arises to proportion his account of a existence which the area recollects as ‘dreadful past belief’. interpreting 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 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 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 battle he was once a lot enthusiastic about the advance and progress of TocH during the global. hence 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.

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