Leslie Hollinghurst joined the Royal Engineers as a Sapper on the outbreak of Wold War I. Hollinghurst took part in the Gallipoli Campaign before being wounded in Salonika, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Middlesex Regiment. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps whilst in Egypt, where he undertook his initial flying training and returned to England to become a test pilot.
‘Holly’ was posted to 87 Squadron in France in 1918, flying Sopwith Dolphins on reconnaissance work.
For his offensive patrols he was credited with 11 victories over enemy aircraft and awarded the D.F.C.
In the interwar period he served in Afghanistan, the North West Frontier and Shanghai and as an Instructor at Cranwell.
During the Second World War he was posted at several positions. His high rank didn't prevent him though from personally supervising from the air the early stages of his Group’s operations both on D-Day and at Arnhem.
In late 1944 he commanded Base Air Forces Headquarters in South East Asia.
After the war he served on the Air Council as Air Member for Supply and Organisation, and was briefly Inspector-General of the R.A.F. before rejoining the Air Council. He retired in 1952.
Leslie Hollinghurst died on 8 June 1971, whilst returning from celebrations in Normandy held to mark the 25th Anniversary of D-Day.
Apart from his Second World War medals Hollinghurst also was awarded the following decorations:
- DFC (G V dd 3 december 1918)
- British War Medal
- British Victoria Medal
- India General Service 1908-35, 3 gespen:, Afghanistan N.W.F. 1919, North West Frontier 1930-31, Mohmand 1933, met M.i.D. gedateerd 21 januari 1933
- Coronation 1953
- GBE dd 1 januari 1952
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