- RAF Wigtown during the Second World War -
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Those known to have served at
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Leonard Pat.
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Pat "Paddy" LeonardPaddy Leonard, AC2, WAAF, as everyone knew her at RAF Biggin Hill during the Battle of Britain, was a member of the "Glamour Watch." A plotter working in the Ops Building as part of a skeleton crew, she had volunteered for the work duty the day that a 500-lb bomb came through the roof, bounced off a safe and blew up in the back room where it was redirected. Somewhat protected by the heavy plotting table under which she dove, she was not injured by the flying glass, metal and wood shards that resulted from the explosion. With the crackling of a fire heard behind them, the staff in the Ops Building quickly exited the room through the blown out windows. Because of the events of that day, two non-commissioned officers in the building later received the Military Medal. As tradition has it it was most likely also presented to them on behalf of the crew on watch that day.
Paddy Leonard spent a year at RAF Biggin Hill through the period that made the station famous. Part of that time was spent in the old vacated butcher's shop in the Pantiles, which was a temporary new home to the Ops Room plotters until other more permanent facilities could be arranged. Picked up by lorry, the WAAF personel were transported daily to and from the shop which they entered from the rear to avoid any attention to their presence there.
Paddy Leonard, or Pat Carswell, as eveyone came to know her after her marriage, lived on the Island of Montreal from 1945 to 1974 when her husband took early retirement from his corporate executive job and they moved to the Rideau Lakes area about 25 miles north of Kingston, Ontario. In more than 30 years of retirement she and her husband enjoyed living by the lake, numerous trips, camping, international travel, visiting Scotland and England and touring Europe with their daughter and son-in-law who had settled in the Netherlands where he grew up.
Born in London on February 23rd, 1920 within the sound of Beau Bells, she was the granddaughter of a Irish blood but English-born London Dock Worker who she never knew and a Swedish-Finnish carpenter who learned his trade at sea. They both married English girls in London. As a switch from her ancestral background she was the daughter of a James Leonard who rose to become a member of the London Stock Exchange. She came from a very unusual background. But like her father who had served in WWI she felt it was her duty to serve in WWII. She believed that had her father had any sons, they would have done the same as did a number of her second cousins who were pilots in the RAF. She lived a happy life dying peacefully at the age of 85 on September 12th, 2005 in her home by the lake less than a month after returning from an Alaskan Cruise. She live life to the fullest and enjoyed every minute of it. May she rest in peace.Bob Carswell
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