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Air Marshal Sir Peter Drummond

Sir Peter R. M. Drummond(Peter) Roy Maxwell  b: 2 Jun 1894                                                                  d: 27 Mar 1945

KCB - 2 Jun 1943 (CB - 24 Sep 1941), DSO - 16 Mar 1918, Bar - 26 Jul 1918, OBE - 22 Jul 1921, MC - 16 Aug 1917, MiD - 5 Jun 1919, MiD - 14 Jun 1918, MiD - 11 Jun 1942, MiD - 19 Sep 1946, OP(Cdr) - 3 May 1946.  

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army): - Pte: xx Sep 1914, 2 Lt:  15 Apr 1916, Lt: 9 Dec 1916 [21 Feb 1916], (T) Lt (RFC): 1 May 1917, (T) Capt: 15 May 1917.

(RAF): - (T) Capt [Lt]: 1 Apr 1918, Act Maj: 2 Sep 1918, Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Sqn Ldr: 1 Jan 1923, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1931, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1937, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1939, Act AVM: 19 Jun 1940, (T) AVM: 10 Jan 1941, Act AM: 1 Jun 1941, AVM: 14 Apr 1942 [10 Jan 1941], (T) AM: 1 Jun 1943.

Sir Peter R. M. Drummond

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, June 1943
NPG x167266

National Portrait Gallery, London

 xx Sep 1914 :            Private, Medical Corps, Australian Imperial Force. (Gallipoli/Egypt)

xx xxx 1915:              Invalided out of the Army.

15 Apr 1916:              U/T Pilot, RFC

 1Sep 1916:                Disembarked at Alexandria

 4 Sep 1916:               Pilot, No 67 Sqn RFC. (Formed as No 1 Sqn AFC.) (Various types Egypt)

13-19 Feb 1917:        Attached, No 57 Reserve Sqn

25 May 1917:             Flight Commander, No 67 Sqn RFC.

11 Jul 1917:                Sailed for New Zealand on 'Port Sydney'    

22 Oct 1917:              Flight Commander, No 111 Sqn RFC. (Various types Palestine)

 9 Jul 1918:                 Posted to HQ Training Brigade

19 Jul 1918:                Officer Commanding, No 145 Sqn.

20 Oct - 5 Nov 1918:            Admitted to No 31 General Hospital

 6-13 Nov 1918:         Admitted to No 31 General Hospital

20 Feb 1919:              Officer Commanding, No 111 Sqn. (SE5A Palestine)

 8 Mar 1919:               Posted to No 145 Sqn Skeleton Establishment (cadre?)

 9 Jun 1919:                Temporary duty at HQ RAF Middle East

R M Drummond 1917 R M Drummond in full dress uniform post WW1
Photos courtesy - Richard Leake.

 1 May 1919:              Employed as Major (until 31 Jul 1919)

 1 Aug 1919:               Awarded Permanent Commission as a Captain

25 Sep 1919:              Posted to HQ Middle East for duty on Aerial Routes

11 Dec 1919:              Officer Commanding, H Force, Sudan.  

15 May 1920:             Flight Commander, No 55 Sqn (Palestine)

26 Jun 1920:               Flight Commander, No 47 Sqn

15 Jul 1920 - 13 Jan 1921:        Leave in Australia

16 Aug 1920 - 13 Jan 1921:       Placed on Half-pay List Scale 'B' (Leave)

15 Jan 1921:               Attached, No 70 Sqn

30 Mar 1921:             Awaiting embarkation from Alexandria to UK

 1 Apr 1921:               Embarked at Alexandria for UK and transferred to Home Establishment

xx xxx 1921:               Instructor, School of Army Co-operation

 3 Apr 1922:              Attended RAF Staff College.

12 Apr 1923:             Air Staff - Plans, Deputy Directorate of Operations and Intelligence.

 1 May 1925:              Supernumerary, RAF Depot. (Seconded to RAAF for two years).

 5 Jun 1925:                Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, RAAF.

 3 Aug 1927:               Seconded to RAAF for (further) two years.

15 Nov 1929:             Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

14 Jan 1930:               Attended Imperial Defence College.

20 Dec 1930:              Supernumerary, HQ Coastal Area/RAF Depot.

22 Jun 1931:               Supernumerary, RAF Manston.

 1 Jul 1931:                 Officer Commanding, RAF Manston.

 6 Oct 1931:               U/T, School of Army Co-operation.

23 Nov 1931:             Officer Commanding, RAF Tangmere

 9 Jun 1933:                Supernumerary, HQ No 1 Air Defence Group.

18 Aug 1933:              Staff Officer, Directorate of Training.

 3 Apr 1934:               Staff Officer, Directorate of Staff Duties.

 4 Sep 1936:               Officer Commanding, RAF Northolt.

20 Nov 1937:             SASO, RAF Middle East.

 1 Jun 1941:                Deputy AOC in C, RAF Middle East

29 Dec 1941:              Deputy AOC in C, Middle East Command

27 Apr 1943:              Air Member for Training.

He was educated at Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia.

Joining the staff at the Air Ministry, he was responsible for making the suggestion, in 1923, that the RAF and the RAAF should carry out exchanges of officers.  As a result he was himself posted to his native Australia in 1925 as DCAS.   He suggested sending 20 squadrons to the Caucasus to assist the Russians under the codename Operation 'Velvet'.  However, Stalin refused the offer but asked for the equivalent number of aircraft instead.  He was offered the position of Air C in C, SEAC in 1944, but declined the post which was therefore offered to Leigh-Mallory.  Feeling that he may have been fortunate not to meet Leigh-Mallory's fate by declining the post, he set off in March 1945 to Canada in order to take part in the official ceremony to mark the closing down of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan.  He was flying aboard the Liberator 'Commando', of No 45 Group Communications Squadron, which had once been  Churchill's personnel aircraft, together with Commander R A Breadner; Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Air, Sir John Abraham; Deputy Under Secretary at the Air Ministry and Mr. H A Jones; Director of Public Relations.  On 27 March 1945 the aircraft was last heard of near the Azores and has never been heard from again.  So having avoided flying into a mountain in the Alps he was appears to have disappeared over the Atlantic.  

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

"Capt. Roy Maxwell Drummond, M.C., R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While escorting a reconnaissance, on three hostile 'planes being encountered he at once attacked and' drove down one of these, although he was being himself attacked in the rear by the remaining two. Drawing these latter away from the reconnaissance machine, he turned, attacked and followed one of these dawn to a lower altitude, despite heavy anti-aircraft fire. This machine was then seen to strike the ground and turn over.  He then attacked the third machine, and, after a long burst of fire at close range, both wings of the enemy plane were observed to collapse in the air. The whole action was characterised by the great skill and daring of this officer."

(London Gazette - 24 August 1918)

Announcement in the London Gazette - 22 Jul 1921

"The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following appointment to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of distinguished services in the operations against the Garjak Nuers in 1920:

To be an, Officer of the Military Division of the  said Most Excellent Order.

Flight Lieutenant Roy Maxwell Drummond,. D.S.O., M.C., Royal Air Force. : - .

This officer performed most excellent work in command of H. Unit, Royal Air Force.  Notwithstanding the adverse conditions that  were met with, both at the aerodrome and in the air, the work performed by his unit in reconnaissance of the country and bombing expeditions, was one of the decisive factors leading to the success of the operations. The capable handling of his unit and the method of carrying out the duties assigned to him are deserving of the highest praise."

This page was last updated on 16/10/22

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