Hugh Dowding, 1st Baron Dowding

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Air Chief Marshal Hugh Caswall Tremenheere Dowding, 1st Baron Dowding GCB, GCVO, CMG (24 April 1882 – 15 February 1970) was a British officer in the Royal Air Force. He was the commander of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain.


Early life

Hugh Dowding was born in the southern Scottish town of Moffat in 1882 and received his early education at St. Ninian's Boys' Preparatory School in Moffat which his father, Arthur Dowding, had been instrumental in founding.[1] Hugh Dowding was of Cornish ancestry being the grandson of Lieutenant General Charles William Tremenheere. After moving to England, Dowding was educated at Winchester College and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He later served abroad in the Royal Garrison Artillery.[2]

Military career

Initially he served in Gibraltar, Ceylon, Hong Kong, and India. After returning to Great Britain, Dowding attended the Army Staff College in January 1912 before being posted to the Royal Garrison Artillery on the Isle of Wight in 1913.[3] After becoming interested in aviation, Dowding gained his Aviator's Certificate on 19 December 1913 in a Vickers biplane at the Vickers School, Brooklands.[4] He then attended the Central Flying School, where he was awarded his wings. Although added to the RFC's Reserve List, Dowding returned to the Isle of Wight to resume his Royal Garrison Artillery duties. However, this arrangement was short-lived and in August 1914, he joined the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) as a pilot on No. 7 Squadron.[3]

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