Leonard Cheshire became famous, as no-one before him, thanks to his perseverance and courage in bomber aviation. When he was 25 years old, he became the youngest RAF colonel and did 100 battle flights. As a pilot, he was responsible for bombing Munich from the low level and for destructing Gestapo’s headquarters in Munich. He was decorated with the Victoria Cross and three times with the Distinguished Service Order and the Distinguished Flying Cross. In February 1955, when they met for the first time, Sue Ryder knew nothing about Leonard Cheshire. Her whole activity was connected with work outside England and she did not realise what was going on in her country.
However, that meeting turned out to be significant for both of them: Leonard had already operated his own foundation and supported the sick in many places of the world in order to make his post-war life meaningful. Their decision was influenced by their common goals and values, mutual understanding and support. They married on 5 April 1959.