Tropical No. 1Service Dress to Air Commodore William James Maitland Longmore, CB, DSO
AC Longmore wears what is the standard uniform for senior officers on station in tropical climes that have access to tailors and cleaners. If AC Longmore were to spend time at the front, he would transition to KD's or shirtsleeve dress with side cap or topee depending on his personal comfort. But being at HQ meant being in meetings with staff and wearing appropriate dress.

Note that the No. 1 tropical dress does not feature a khaki version of the peaked cap as had been the case during the mid-war years. This was to make it easier to distinguish RAF personnel even if they wore tropical kit. Some officers who customized their caps or wore earlier versions were non-regulation and typically wore them at informal stations, if at all.
It must have been daunting to have been the son of one of the original four founding British military pilots in the 1910 British Royal Engineers Air Battalion. In fact, Lord Arthur was Trenchard's flight instructor. Even more daunting to have Lord Maitland as your Godfather (hence his third Christian name). Which probably explains why it is so hard to find this gentleman's history as it has been so thoroughly eclipsed by his famous father.
Son of Air Chief Marshal Lord Arthur Murray Longmore, Air Commodore WJM Longmore CB, DSO Stands in an hotel lobby "somewhere in theater". As yet, his operational commands are unclear. Hopefully his service history is forthcoming.
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Even though it appears that AC Longmore was not involved in active flight operations that would have led to flight medals, his senior rank, senior commands and family name certainly meant he would have received awards. As such he has been awarded the Order of the Bath, Companion; the Distinguished Service Order, the 1939-1945 star, the Atlantic Star with bar denoting award of the France and Germany star. Next row is the Pacific Star, the Defence Medal, the War Medal, the General Service Medal (RAF) with a Mention in Despatches award. He also wears the wings of a pilot, meaning he is flight rated.
As can be seen in the No. 1 tropical, the rank is moved from the braid at the cuffs as it is in the blue service dress to shoulderboards. It was not always this way. When the RAF was first created, the first pattern 1918 tunic tropical dress featured light blue rank braid at the cuffs similar in pattern to the service dress.
A close up of the shoulderboard shows the unique pattern of the thick air commodore braid that was sewn around the board. This same braid was used as the basis for all air rank with smaller stripes being added for more senior air ranks (Air Vice Marshal, etc.)
*Click on any picture to see full size.

Right out of Masterpiece Theatre comes this little mystery combining early RAF political rivalries, powerful families and possibly a budding romance? Inside one of the chest pockets is a dry cleaning ticket for suede vest. But on the back is a name and address for a young Miss J. Sykes back in Yorkshire. Miss Sykes would be the daughter of Sir Fredrick Sykes, another founding father of the RFC and the second Chief of the Air Staff in 1919. He was forced to step down from this position partly due to pressure from allies of his rival, Trenchard, whom Sir Arthur Longmore had taught to fly and was associated with. And now it seemed the son and daughter of these powerful rivals had found each other.
With air rank, Air Commodore Longmore is entitled to wear the special RAF visor peak cap with the two rows of bullion visor gold braid along with a unique crest in the center that incorporates the royal lion at the top. This would have been the same cap as worn by all air ranks with service dress from air commodore through air chief marshal.
<AC Longmore must have known he was headed to the hot climes as he had this uniform tailored back in London when he was a Wing Commander (two ranks previous). The date is hard to make out but could be as early as 1929. It clearly is labled WJM Longmore.
*Click on any picture to see full size.

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