Leonard William Ormerod


Flight Commander
Royal Naval Air Service

Leonard Ormerod was the son of Harry and Mary Ormerod.

He gained his Royal Aero. Club Certificate (No. 3631) on 30 March 1916 as a civilian, and was appointed Flight Sub Lieutenant (Prob.) on 3 April 1916.

He trained at Chingford and at Cranwell before joining No. 4 (N) Wing [N.L. January and April 1917], and later served with No. 5 (N) Wing [N.L. July 1917-January 1918].

Leonard was gazetted Flight Lieutenant on 1 October 1917, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross [L.G. 2 November 1917]. This was in recognition of his services in action during a bombing raid on Bruges docks.

He was killed on 16 March 1918, when he was shot down flying a D.H.4 Bomber, No. A7908.

At the time he was shot down Leonard was accompanied by Flight Sub Lieutenant W. L. H. Pattison, D.S.C.

Both Leonard and Flight Sub Lieutenant Pattison were buried at Le Cateau, but were later reintered at St Souplet British Cemetery, France. Leonard's grave is Grave Ref. III. D. 5.

Details of Leonard Ormerod's last flight, as well as details of his training and entries on the Navy List, were kindly provided by David J. Barnes, who is compiling an on-line roll of the men who served in the R.F.C., R.N.A.S. and R.A.F.

More about this project can be found at www.rfc-rnas-raf-register.org.uk.


The dates of Leonard's postings, from his Navy Service Record, are as follows:

03/04/16 -

10/04/16 - WHITE CITY

20/05/16 - CHINGFORD

30/06/16 - CRANWELL

17/10/16 - DOVER


04/09/16 - Flt Sub-Lieut

01/10/17 - Flt Lieut

28/10/17 - Act Flt Cdr

01/03/18 - Flt Cdr


Apptd Interpreter in French - 27/06/17


21/09/17 - Awarded D.S.C. for determined attacks on BRUGES Docks on 4th + 5th Sept. during which his machine was considerably shot about both by A.A. fire + enemy machines.

13/02/18 - Recommended for promotion to Flt Cdr for Special War Services

01/03/18 - Approved


Telegram DUNKIRK 17/03/18 - Missing since 16th last from 50HQ DUNKIRK

17/03/18 - Will confirmed


Notes on Leonard's performance, from his Service Record, show:

01/04/17 - 307 Sqd, DUNKIRK - Inexperieced but shows signs of promise

23/06/17 - Good now + learning rapidly

24/08/17 - Recommended for promotion

24/09/17 - G. keen reliable officer

28/11/17 - R for P

31/12/17 - Carried out his duties with great skill + judgement. Strongly recommended for promotion.

13/03/18 - R for P. Has shown great courage as a pilot. Ability as Flight Leader is excellent. V. good command of men.


Date               Hrs Flown

01/04/17        7.21

23/06/17        22.24

24/09/17        45

31/12/17        43


Distinguished Service Cross

Once known as the Conspicuous Service Cross (1901) this is awarded to Royal Navy officers and warrant officers for meritorious action in the face of the enemy. Merchant Navy officers may also win it.

Leonard's grave in St Souplet British Cemetery
A pen and ink drawing by Leonard William Ormerod, signed 'L.W. Ormerod, Flight Sub. Lt. 1917'
de Havilland D.H.4