Leonard Cheshire

Recipient of the Victoria Cross

Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire, Baron Cheshire, VC, OM, DSO and Two Bars, DFC was a highly decorated British RAF pilot during the Second World War. Among the honours he received as a bomber pilot is the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Leonard Cheshire.


1917 Birth Born on September 7, 1917.


1936 18 Years Old He went to stay in Germany in 1936 with a family in Potsdam.


1940 22 Years Old 1 More Event
After learning basic piloting skills with the Oxford University Air Squadron, Cheshire joined the RAF after the outbreak of the Second World War as a Pilot Officer, and was initially posted in June 1940 to 102 Squadron, flying Armstrong Whitworth Whitley medium bombers, from RAF Driffield.
1941 23 Years Old 1 More Event
In January 1941, Cheshire completed his tour of operations, but then volunteered immediately for a second tour.
1942 24 Years Old He was posted to 35 Squadron with the brand new Handley Page Halifax and completed his second tour early in 1942, by now a Squadron Leader. … Read More
1943 25 Years Old In 1943 Cheshire published an account of his first tour of operations in his book Bomber Pilot which tells of his posting to RAF Driffield and tells the story of flying his badly-damaged bomber ("N for Nuts") back to base. … Read More
1944 26 Years Old Cheshire was nearing the end of his fourth tour of duty in July 1944, having completed a total of 102 missions, when he was awarded the Victoria Cross. … Read More
1946 28 Years Old Cheshire left the RAF in 1946 and the time immediately after the war saw him start several new ventures. … Read More


At the beginning of 1948, Cheshire heard about the case of Arthur Dykes, who had been one of Cheshire's original "VIP" community at Le Court, Hampshire and was suffering from cancer. … Read More
1953 35 Years Old In 1953 Cheshire founded the Raphael Pilgrimage in order to enable sick and disabled people to travel to Lourdes. … Read More


1959 41 Years Old On 5 April 1959, in Bombay's Roman Catholic Cathedral, he married Sue Ryder, also a Roman Catholic convert and humanitarian. … Read More


1992 75 Years Old He died of motor neurone disease on 31 July 1992, aged 74.
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