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Lt. Leonard Monteagle Barlow MC and 2 Bars.

Royal Flying Corps 56th Sqd.

from:Ben Varne, Wallington

(d.5th Feb 1918)

Leonard Barlow was commissioned into the RFC on his 18th Birthday. The eldest of six children he had been studying engineering at Finsbury Technical College and had gained a scholarship from the Institute of Electrical Engineers.

He went to France with 56th Sqd and was awarded the Military Cross for his actions on the first day of the Battle of Messines. At daybreak he had volunteered to fly alone, below 150 feet, 30 miles behind the German front line, to prevent enemy observation machines taking off from two airfield.

The first Bar to his MC was awarded when he was credited with his tenth enemy aircraft. The second Bar was awarded for his actions in rescuing a comrade who was facing great odds in an aerial combat. In total he was credited with destroying 17 enemy aircraft in combat.

Leonard returned to England to become a Scout Pilot Instructor and Test Pilot to an experimental station. He lost his life during a test flight near Ipswich, being killed instantaneously as his aircraft crashed from 150 feet when the engine failed. He was 19 years old and was laid to rest with full military honours at Bandon Hill.

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