CHARLTON, Air Commodore Lionel Evelyn Oswald. C.B. 1919; C.M.G. 1916; D.S.O. 1900; late R.A.F.; b. 7 July 1879; s. of late William O. Charlton of Hesleyside, Northumberland. Educ.: Brighton Coll. Served South Africa, 1899-1902 (twice wounded, despatches, Queen's medal 5 clasps, King's medal 2 clasps, D.S.O.); served W.A.F.F., 1902-7; European War, 1914-17 (wounded); Air Attaché, British Embassy, Washington, 1919-22; Chief Staff Officer, Iraq Command, 1923-24; retired list, 1928; Officier, Legion of Honour. Publications: A Hausa Reading Book; Charlton; War from the Air; and other works. Address: 18 Randolph Crescent, W.9. T. Abercorn 3691.
Who's Who 1937. London: A & C Black, 1937.
L. E. O. Charlton (1879-1958) was one of the most prominent prophets of aerial armageddon in 1930s Britain. His distinguished career in the RFC/RAF ranged from observing the presence of von Kluck's army from the air, which led to the BEF's retreat from Mons in August 1914, to chief of staff in Iraq in the early 1920s, when the RAF was experimenting with "air control" policies to pacify tribal opposition. But he opposed the bombing of Iraqi villages and eventually retired early, turning to writing; by this time he was becoming interested in socialism as well as the prevention of cruelty to animals. His books on air defence include War from the Air (1935), War over England (1936), The Menace of the Clouds (1937), The Next War (1937; actually a reprint of the account of a massive German air attack on London from War over England), and part of the Penguin Special The Air Defence of Britain (1938).