Humphrey de Verd Leigh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Humphrey de Verd Leigh
Humphrey de Verd Leigh WWII IWM CH 13927.jpg
Wing Commander de Verd Leigh
Born 26 July 1897
Aldershot, Hampshire
Died 6 June 1980(1980-06-06) (aged 82)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Air Force
Years of service 1915 – 1919
1939 – 1945
Rank Wing Commander
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png Order of British Empire
DistinguishedFlyingCrossUKRibbon.jpg Distinguished Flying Cross
UK AFC ribbon.svg Air Force Cross

Wing Commander Humphrey de Verd Leigh, OBE, DFC, AFC (1897–1980) was a Royal Air Force officer.

Leigh's idea during World War II for an anti-submarine spotlight for Coastal Command was developed and named the Leigh Light.


Humphrey de Verd Leigh was born at Aldershot, Hampshire on 26 July 1897, and was commissioned in the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) in 1915. He served in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) flying seaplanes for the relief of Kut, and went on to serve in the early Royal Air Force (RAF) 1918–19. Resigning his commission in 1919 Leigh went into business, working for many years in the Sudan in the cotton industry. Upon the outbreak of World War II Leigh rejoined the RAF in September 1939, serving in Personnel and Staff Duties for Coastal Command from 1939 until 1945.

His successful development of the Leigh Light, at his own volition and risk, and without approval of his senior commanders at the time made a significant contribution to the Battle of the Atlantic (1942).

Appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1943,[1] having been awarded the Air Force Cross on 8 June 1941,[2] in 1954 he resigned his military commission.[3]

De Verd Leigh died on 6 June 1980.


  1. ^ "No. 35841". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1943. p. 14. 
  2. ^ "No. 36544". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 June 1944. p. 2647. 
  3. ^ "No. 40234". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 July 1954. p. 4249. 

External links[edit]