Fighting Padre: Pat Leonard's Letters From the Trenches

Pat Leonard served during the nice struggle as a Chaplain to the Forces in France, Belgium and, after the Armistice, in Germany. in addition to the numerous enormous quantities 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 fact 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 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 couple of. The extracts chosen from his letters are filled with element, humor, self deprecation and simply occasionally while judged via today’s criteria, gentle ‘political incorrectness’! referred to as ‘a veritable struggling with 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 adorned for bravery.

90 years have handed earlier than this chance arises to percentage his account of a existence which the area recalls as ‘dreadful past belief’. studying 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 family members 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 prior to being permitted 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 warfare he used to be a lot excited about the advance and progress of TocH during the global. thus 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.

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Thus these service provider PMCs allow governments to hide more easily the amount of a country’s resources being committed to an objective and reduce the public power to oppose government violence. This subversion of democratic power results from the reduced demand for higher numbers of people to be members of the military, allowing a seemingly smaller military dedicating military personnel on the ground the more widely objectionable activity of getting on battlefield. Further, it shields the government from democratic oversight on many of its activities as it can provide an impenetrable maze of contracts and claims of commercial confidentiality.

A second reason is that the hallmark of a mercenary—combat for sale—is not a hallmark shared by the majority of PMCs. Only a small number of PMCs provide offensive combat services. To date, states have not attempted to deconstruct the PMC industry by differentiating between the limited numbers of combat ready PMCs and the more numerous PMCs that provide support and/or security services but do not engage in combat as a core business. 116 While states view “traditional” mercenaries stereotypically as maverick, malevolent, and individual misfits motivated solely by the prospect of gain, they tend to view PMCs more positively.

In short, 30 Legal Control of the Private Military Corporation while PMCs are viewed as professional and credible corporate partners, “traditional” mercenaries are viewed by states as unreliable and without credibility. The fourth and final reason why states are reticent to equate PMCs with mercenaries involves economic rationalism and the trend toward policies that seek to increase efficiency in the public sector through the introduction of private sector competition. In this context, states see financial and political advantage in using PMCs as cost effective military service providers.

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