W.10

Commander 

4-engine (Class 5) pilot

Margaret Wyndham 'Margot' Gore MBE, Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) 

flag england

  b. 24 Jan 1913 in Worthing, W. Sussex. 25 Jun 1940 to 30 Nov 1945 

     RAeC 1938   ATA Margot Gore BG  

 

Father: William Wyndham Gore, a mining engineer; mother: Martha [Lord]

Ed. Bedford High School (but mainly grew up in Ireland, until 1929).

Having made her first solo flight in Nov 1938 at Romford Flying Club, she was one of the Assistant Instructors there by the following September, along with Gabrielle Patterson (whose husband Pat also covered the 'theory' side of things) and Joan Hughes

prev. Secretary, British Reinforced Concrete, then at Smithfield Market


Postings: Hatfield, 15FPP, 1FPP

On the outbreak of WWII, she was one of the second batch of women pilots for the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), starting on the 25 June 1940 as 'W.10' - the 10th woman pilot. She was consistently praised, both for her flying and her organisational ability: "First Officer Gore is a very steady and reliable pilot and has undertaken responsibilities in the office which she has carried out well."

Eventually, she was promoted to be Officer Commanding, No 15 Ferry Pool of women pilots at Hamble - one of only two women to achieve the rank of 'Commander', the other being Marion Wilberforce.

ATA 15FPP15 FPP pilots, between flights.

She was also one of the 11 women cleared to fly 4-engined aircraft, which she did so from May 1943 - "A keen and confident pilot of above average ability", but once she took over as OC Hamble, she cut down her flying hours considerably, prompting the Head of the ATA (Gerard d'Erlanger) to write "In her capacity of Commanding Officer, No 15 Ferry Pool, Commander Gore runs her Pool in an eminently satisfactory manner. However, I am very surprised that she has only done some 5 hours flying in seven months on ferry types. There may be some reason for this of which I am unaware, but if not she must make every effort to put in time."

And finally, she was one of only 6 women to get a medal for her service in the ATA - an MBE in 1946.

[The other MBEs were Felicity Bragg, Pauline Gower, Joan Hughes, Roy (Mary) Sharpe and Rosemary Rees, although Phillippa Bennett, Victoria Cholmondley and Elisabeth May got 'Commendations'.]


Margot and Joan 1947 Margot and Joan in 1947 (The Times)

In 1947, she signed on as 'Recruit No. 1' for the Women's Auxiliary Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Flying) List, designed to train pilots for non-operational duties in emergencies. Joan Nayler, another ATA Woman pilot, was No. 2.

She then became Managing Director of the West London Aero Club.

 

In 1948, she was called by the prosecution at the court martial of her elder brother, Colonel Thomas Gerard Gore DSO, OBE, on charges which alleged that he had received money from a Mr Newman, knowing it came from the sale of stolen arms.

Margot testified that "her brother had never been very good at business affairs or, anything that demanded a high degree of intellectual effort." [Ouch]

 Colonel Gore was sentenced to be cashiered and serve two years imprisonment. Major-General James D Dennlson, Director of Ordnance Services at the time of the Invasion of Normandy, told the Court that he had referred him as "a problem child," but said that Colonel Gore was a first-class leader in war-time."

 

In 1952, aged 39, she passed out as Gold Medallist (of course) at the British School of Osteopathy and later practised as an osteopath, eventually becoming (of course) its Chairman.

In retirement Margot was "an enthusiastic golfer".

I bet she was good at that, too...

 

d. 28 Aug 1993 - Sue Ryder Home, Nettlebed, Oxfordshire.

 

This is her memorial in Maidenhead Cemetery:

 


 Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):download grey

IWM interview here: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80009075

 

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