Letter to Leonard Cheshire from J H Barnes



Letter to Leonard Cheshire from J H Barnes


Congratulatory letter on Air Ministry headed paper, which goes on to praise Leonard Cheshire for insisting on continuing hazardous situations and dropping a rank to continue on operations. Suggests that Cheshire is greatly admired in the Air Ministry for his achievements and wishes him the best for the future.




Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage



Two page printed letter


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[Air Ministry logo]
9th September, 1944.
Dear Wing Commander Cheshire,
May I be allowed to add my very warm congratulations to those of countless others who, with more claim, will be writing to you on your supreme and crowning distinction.
You will not remember me, but I remember you very well, and I hope you will forgive a somewhat impertinent reminiscence. I visited Marston Moor about a year ago with an Air Ministry Committee, and you conducted us round your station. Some indication of your operational record was of course patent to the eye, and my curiosity led me to ask the Air Commodore Base Commander how such a young group Captain fared in the less exciting tasks of administration. The eulogy was only tempered by a melancholy observation in regard to your persistent efforts to return to the field of greater hazard, and the loss which this would mean to your station and to his command.
Sacrificing your rank you returned to operations, and your subsequent achievements have added lustre to the Royal Air Force and your generation. As the war in Europe draws to its close the debt which this country and the world owes to you and the like of you is realised even more widely and intensely. As a civilian member of the Air Ministry – quorum pars parva fui – since its early days – may I be permitted to voice something of the pride and gratitude I am sure all my colleagues feel. Sir Arthur Street, the Permanent Under-Secretary of State, wishes in particular to be associated
Wing Commander G.L. Cheshire, V.C., D.S.O., D.F.C.
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with what I am trying to convey, and I fear I may be doing less than justice to what he would say himself. You may know that one of his sons is one of your gallant comrades of Bomber Command for whom, alas, there will be no return.
May I also send you again on behalf of all my colleagues my very best wishes for continued health, success and high endeavour.
Yours sincerely,
[signature] J.H. Barnes [/signature]



J H Barnes, “Letter to Leonard Cheshire from J H Barnes,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 14, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/16487.

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