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‘Sam’ Marshal of the Royal Air Force the Lord Elworthy (ePub)

A Biography

Aviation > Royal Air Force Military > Biographies WWII

By Richard Mead
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
File Size: 7.7 MB (.epub)
Pages: 298
Illustrations: 87
ISBN: 9781526727183
Published: 17th October 2018


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This biography of Sam Elworthy, arguably the most distinguished RAF officer of the post War era, is long overdue. Born in New Zealand, but educated at Marlborough College and Trinity College, Cambridge, Elworthy was called to the Bar but, with his love of flying, was permanently commissioned into the RAF in 1936. After distinguished active service, earning a DSO and DFC commanding a Blenheim squadron, he became ‘Bomber’ Harris’s liaison officer to Eisenhower, achieving the acting rank of air commodore aged 33.

After serving in India and Pakistan, Elworthy held senior positions in Fighter Command before becoming Commandant of the RAF Staff College, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff and then C-in-C of the tri-service Middle East Command, where he saw off the first threat to Kuwait from Iraq. In 1963 he was appointed Chief of the Air Staff, fighting the RAF’s corner successfully during a time of defence cuts, and in 1967 became Chief of the Defence Staff, managing the withdrawal from East of Suez and strengthening the UK’s role in NATO.

In retirement, Elworthy became Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle and the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London. He was made a Baron in 1972 and a Knight of the Garter in 1977. In 1978 he and his wife, Audrey, returned to their homeland of New Zealand, where he died in 1993.

The RAF’s Centenary year is a fitting moment for the publication of this outstanding airman’s biography.

Elworthy is indeed worthy of a biography. His story should be of interest to anyone wishing to learn more about Bomber Command, the RAF, or the British military.

Steven D. Ells, Lt Col, USAFR (Ret), Air Power History, Summer 2020

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Royal Aeronautical Society

Richard Mead's biography of MRAF, The Lord Elworthy, fills a major gap in the historiography of the Royal Air Force and does so in a way that honours its subject both in his military and professional life and as a much loved and admired family man and friend.

A very valuable and beautifully written biography.

RAF Historical Society

Engrossing biography.

Aviation News, April 2019

A fascinating biography

RAF News 14/10/18
 Richard Mead

About Richard Mead

Richard Mead was educated at Marlborough College and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He has written General ‘Boy’: The Life of Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Browning and The Last Great Cavalryman: The Life of General Sir Richard McCreery, Commander Eighty Army, The Men Behind Monty, Commando General – The Life of Sir Robert Laycock and Sam - The Life of MRAF Lord Elworthy all in print with Pen and Sword Books. Richard and his wife live in Gloucestershire and he has two grown-up sons.

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