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British Industrial History

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Arthur Murray Longmore

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Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Murray Longmore GCB, DSO (8 October 1885 – 10 December 1970) was an early naval aviator, before reaching high rank in the Royal Air Force.

Born in St Leonards, New South Wales, Australia, the son of Charles Croker Longmore and Janet Murray, he was educated at Benges School, Hertford and Foster's Academy, Stubbington before entering Dartmouth Naval College.

He was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1904.

Having developed an interest in flying, he obtained his flying certificate in 1911 and joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1912. He subsequently obtained a permanent commission in the Royal Air Force, serving in (among other places) Italy, Iraq and RAF Coastal Command.

The first man actually to fly on British sea-water in an aeroplane appears to have been Commander Oliver Schwann, R.N., and the credit for building the first successful water-flying machines apparently goes to the Short brothers at Eastchurch. British sea-flying on the Service side is closely linked with the names of Captain Murray Sueter, and the Indomitable four, Lieut-Commander Charles Rumney Samson, Lieut. Reginald Gregory and Lieut. Arthur Longmore, all of the Royal Navy, and Lieut. Louis Gerrard, R.M.L.I. From the very first the efforts of the small band of enthusiasts who tried to establish Service sea-flying met with suspicion and even direct opposition.

The outbreak of the Second World War found Longmore an Air Chief Marshal and in charge of RAF Training Command. On 2 April 1940, he was appointed Air Officer Commanding in the Middle East. He did not long enjoy the full confidence of Winston Churchill in that position and was relieved of his command in May 1941.

His last role before his formal retirement in 1942 was as Inspector-General of the RAF. He was subsequently Vice-Chairman of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Longmore’s memoirs, From Sea to Sky 1910-1945, were published in 1946.

In 1913 Longmore married Marjorie Maitland, the daughter of William James Maitland C.I.E. One of their sons, Wing Commander Richard Maitland Longmore OBE, was killed in action on 4 October 1943, in the course of an attack on a U-boat.

Longmore died in North Surrey, England on 10 December 1970.

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