Lord Samuel (Sam) Charles ELWORTHY Bt. Kt. 
- Born: 23 Mar 1911, Gordons Valley Timaru N.Z.
- Marriage: Audrey HUTCHINSON  in 1936
- Died: 4 Apr 1993, Christchurch NZ aged 82
- Buried: Gordons Valley Timaru N.Z.
Sam was educated, Marlborough and Trinity College Cambridge, and qualified as a Solicitor before joining the R.A.F. He had a brilliant career, including Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Defense Staff 1967-71, Life Peerage, Knight of the Garter, Constable & Governor of Windsor Castle, Lord Lieutenant of London. KG, GCB, CBE, DSO, LVO, DFC, AFC.
His sister Di, tells a story of Sam's birth at Gordons Valley. His mother was noticeably in labour in the 40 acre paddock (the parents bedroom) upstairs, Dr Drew downstairs with the anxious father was ordered upstairs to "do something", entering the 40 acre paddock Drew was loudly ordered out by the expectant mother ! whereupon he retreated to sit in neutral territory on the stairs and let nature take its course.
Sam was a man of deep humility and grace who in spite of his awesome achievements was universally loved and respected by all who knew him, his Queen can be included.
True to his view of life he felt called back to his roots for his last years, asking The Queen for an unprecedented release from his Royal duties, he retired to Gordons Valley in 1977.
Characteristically he is buried under a stone atop a hill on Gordons Valley with the simplest of inscriptions.
Sir C. Elworthy to be Defence Chief.
From our Air Correspondant.
Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles Elworthy, Chief of the Air Staff is to be the next Chief of the Defence Staff, as foreshadowed in The Times of September 6. The Ministry of Defence announced last night that he will succeed Field Marshal Sir Richard Hull next August.
The appointment has been held in turn by the heads of the three Services. Marshal of RAF Sir William Dickson became the first C,D.S. in 1958. He was succeeded by Admiral of the Fleet Lord Mountbatten of Burma from whom Sir Richard look over last year.
Sir Charles has been Chief of Air Staff since 1963. A New Zealander he was educated at Marlborough College and Trinity College Cambridge and called to the Bar in 1935. He celebrated his fifty-fifth birthday last March by flying a Lightning aircraft at 1000 mph.
The Times 30 Nov 1966 Pg 1 Col B
Sir Charles Elworthy Promoted.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Charles Elworthy, Chief of the Air Staff since 1963, is promoted to Marshal of the Royal Air Force from April 1. Sir Charles who is 56 is to succeed Field Marshall Sir Richard Hull as Chief of the Defence Staff in August.
The Times March 30 1967 Pg 14 Col B
King Edward VII's Hospital.
On Thursday the 17th of April Pg 9 Col 3 The Times published a Letter to the Editor expressing thanks by the Chief of Defence Staff S C Elworthy and others for the public's contributions to the cost of extensions to the King Edward VII's Hospital, Beaumont St London. The extensions will enable not only officers from the three services to be treated but now their wives and widows.
Sir Charles Elworthy joins BP board.
Sir Charles Elworthy, Marshal of the Royal Air Force, and Chief of Defence Staff 1967-71 has joined the board of BP.
The Times May 14 1971 Pg 23 Col A
Thank you for your kind letter of sympathy. My poor Audrey had been in hospital for fourteen months. It was a terrible day for me when I took her there knowing then she would remain for the rest of her life. I feel desolate without her but know that it is merciful that she no longer has to endure life in which there could be no joy.
Baron Elworthy Dies :
Baron Elworthy, a New Zealander who was a former Chief of Britain's Defence Staff and Marshal of the Royal Air Force, has died in Christchurch aged 82. He was found dead yesterday morning by staff at a retirement home.
Born in Timaru in 1911, Samuel Charles Elworthy graduated in law from Cambridge University and later joined the Royal Air Force.
During the Second World War he served in RAF Bomber Command, reaching the rank of acting air commodore. During the late 1940s he was seconded to the Royal Pakistan Air Force before returning to Britain to stage the Queen's Coronation Review of the RAF in 1953.
During 1959 and 1960 he was Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, Navy and Air Force in the Middle East. He achieved the rank of Air Marshal in 1960, Air Chief Marshal in 1962 and Marshal of the RAF in 1967. Baron Elworthy was appointed Chief of Britain's Defence Staff and made Marshal of the Royal Air Force in 1967.
He was Chief of the Defence Staff until 1971, Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle between 1971 and 1978, and Lord Lieutenant of Greater London between 1973 and 1978. He was made a baron (a life peer) , in 1972 after his distinguished service career.
Baron Elworthy, KG, GCB, CBE, DSO, MVO, DFC, AFC, KStJ, etc is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the recipient of the most post-nominal letters.
He retired in 1978 and returned to his family farm in Gordons Valley near Timaru. Baron Elworthy was a director of a number of prominent companies. He is survived by his three sons and a daughter. Lady Elworthy died in 1986.
A funeral service will be held in Timaru on Thursday.
MARSHAL OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE THE LORD ELWORTHY, KG, The former Chief of the Defence Staff, who has died at Christchurch, New Zealand, aged 82, exercised immense influence during the late 1960s, when Denis Healey, the Labour Defence Minister, re-shaped the Armed Forces.
A genial New Zealander, "Sam" Elworthy had hit it off with Healey from his days as Chief of the Air Staff earlier in the decade. Their rapport was helped by Elworthy's acceptance of the cancellation of TSR2, on the understanding that the Labour Government intended to order the F-111 from America instead.
As Chief of the Air Staff from 1963 to 1967, Elworthy had to deal with a series of cutbacks. It was a difficult period, marking the end of the RAF policy of buying British aircraft in peacetime.
He found himself juggling with resources to meet commitments east of Suez, including the Indonesia confrontation, and facing Army criticism of inadequate helicopter support.
As Chief of the Defence Staff from 1967 to 1971 - first under Healey and then under Lord Carrington - Elworthy was faced with such contrasting issues as Soviet expansion (including the Czech crisis of 1968) and the need for Nato to develop its policy of flexible response. Northern Ireland posed reinforcement problems for the Army in Germany; and, to his bitter disappointment, the pledged F-111 was cancelled. At the same time the RAF lost its V-bomber deterrent role to the Navy's Polaris submarine.
Elworthy's principal achievements as CDS included masterminding the main withdrawal from the Far East and implementing a defence policy which concentrated on support of Nato in Europe and the North Atlantic. His efforts were recognised by the creation of the first "RAF peerage" since the Second World War.
Samuel Charles Elworthy was born in New Zealand on March 23 1911 and came to England for his education. He attended Marlborough Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read law and rowed (he became a member of Leander at Henley).
Although he did not join the University Air Squadron, he subsequently became a pilot officer in No 600, an Auxiliary Air Force squadron, flying biplane Hawker Harts.
Elworthy was called to the Bar by Lincoln's Inn in 1935, but his heart was in flying and later that year he was granted a permanent commission in the RAF. He joined No 15 Squadron, flying Harts and Hinds, and was soon selected to take part in dive-bombing trials.
After two years he was appointed ADC to Sir Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt, C-in-C at Bomber Command. Thus at an early stage of his career Elworthy absorbed the atmosphere of High Command, while also obtaining an insight into the RAF's pre-war weakness.
By the outbreak of war in 1939 he was back with a bomber squadron, although No 108's Blenheims were switched to a training role as part of No 13 Operational Training Unit with Elworthy as chief flying instructor.
Subsequently he was fortunate to survive a perilous period of unescorted day bomber operations. When he joined No 82, a Blenheim light bomber squadron, in August 1940, the posting had looked like a death sentence: losses were horrendous.
On his arrival at Watton in Norfolk to command the squadron's "A" Flight, Elworthy learned that of 12 aircraft, the entire serviceable squadron recently ordered to attack a German air base at Aalborg in northern Denmark, only one Blenheim had returned, and that was because its pilot had turned back, fearing he had insufficient fuel to reach the target and get home. The pilot's excuse was not accepted. He was court-martialled, but acquitted.
It was against this unpromising background that Elworthy and his fellows were hurled at low level against the German "Operation Sealion" invasion, vessels assembling in Channel ports and against enemy coastal convoys.
There were further heavy losses but Elworthy's excellence as a flight commander, and good fortune in defying the odds, helped to ensure his promotion to command the squadron.
In early April 1941, together with an inexperienced sergeant, he attacked two 3,000-ton tankers in daylight off the German coast., Inevitably, Me109 fighters swept in. An air gunner was killed and one of the Blenheim's two propellers fell off, but he shepherded the novice pilot home.
Halfway through that month the squadron was posted to Lossiemouth on the north-east coast of Scotland to enable it to attack shipping off Norway.
Even more dangerous, Elworthy reckoned, was an order to attack Krupps at Essen in daylight. He wrote a last letter to his wife, then, to his enormous relief the raid was cancelled.
Fruitless losses across the North Sea in the face of Me109s against which the Blenheim stood little chance caused terrible grief to 82 Squadron's leader. When, that May, Elworthy was posted for staff duties at Bomber Command's No 2 Group HQ, he gave vent to his feelings and took issue with Air Vice Marshal Donald Stevenson, the Group Commander.
Elworthy argued that heavy losses were being incurred to no purpose on the antishipping operations. When his fellow pilot, the 5th Earl of Bandon, added his disquiet at the senseless attrition, "Butcher" Stevenson threw an ink-well at the wall, shouting: "Churchill wants it!"
In fact, the Prime Minister minuted that, while eclipsing the Charge of the Light Brigade, such deeds produced losses disproportionate to results.
In the early summer of 1942 Elworthy was posted to join the recently appointed C-in-C, "Bomber" Harris, at Bomber Command as his Group Captain Operations. This was a critical point in the Command's fortunes. and there could have been no more appropriate choice for this post as Harris began to question the rationale of the bomber offensive, and to introduce new techniques.
On the night of May 30 1942 Elworthy played his part in planning and executing the RAF's first 1,000-bomber raid on Cologne, in fact, after scrapping operational training units, there were 1,046 aircraft.
After a hard year working with Harris, Elworthy was rewarded with his own command, RAF Waddington, a Lincolnshire bomber base accommodating Nos 9, 44 and 50 Lancaster Squadrons.
At first Elworthy's squadrons operated from satellite airfields, while concrete runways were built, but that November, when the work was finshed, he welcomed two Australian Lancaster squadrons, Nos 463 and 467.
For a year Elworthy presided over a crescendo of bombing including many notable attacks on Hamburg, Berlin, Nuremberg and the flying-bomb and rocket V weapon development station at Peenemunde.
In the spring of 1944, anticipating the June landings in Normandy, Harris entrusted Elworthy with the delicate duty of representing him at the HQ of the Supreme Commander, Gen Eisenhower.
With Bomber Command committed to the direct support of "Operation Overlord", it was Elworthy's task to ensure that heavy bomber operations were integrated. It fell to him specifically to prepare a blitz on enemy rail communications, sparing, where possible, French casualties.
As the Allies began their advance through North-West Europe, Elworthy was posted as Senior Air Staff Officer to Bomber Command's No 5 Group, where, under Sir Ralph Cochrane, he oversaw numerous operations, includng the sinking of the Tirpitz.
When the war ended in Europe Elworthy was not yet 35 and had held the rank of Air Commodore for a year but that Christmas he was obliged to revert to Group Captain on joining the Central Bombing Establishment at Marham in Norfolk to plan for the evenual operational use of the Canberra, the RAF's first jet bomber.
In 1947 he experienced a change of scene and pace when he arrived in India as SASO of its No 2 Group. After Partition he transferred to the Pakistan Air Force. During this tropical interlude Elworthy reflected that, thanks to the war, he had come a long way without any formal staff training and that if he was to go further this should be remedied. Dropping rank again to Wing Commander, he attended the Joint Services Staff College at Latimer. This led, in 1950, to an Air Ministry desk as Deputy Director of Personnel.
He enlivened this dreary task ("the kiss of death") with an outspoken argument against Fighter Command's refusal to employ senior officers without a fighter background.
The Air Marshals responded by sending this career bomber officer off to command the fighter station at Tangmere in Sussex in 1951. On encountering fighter squadrons for the first time he seized the opportunity to fly with his Meteor Squadrons, Nos 1 and 29.
Two years later Elworthy took over the Meteor station at Odiham in Hampshire. Later he moved up to command Fighter Command's Metropolitan Sector, responsible for guarding London and the South-east against Soviet air attack.
In 1956 he was plucked from the Imperial Defence College to head the Planning Staff for the Suez Crisis. During the campaign he was taken ill and rushed to hospital. But by the end of the year he was fit enough to take up the post of Commandant of the Staff College at Bracknell.
In 1959 he joined the Air Council as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff. Almost immediately he was selected by Mountbatten, then Chief of the Defence Staff, to command British forces in the Aden peninsula, the first post-war triservice integrated command.
When, in 1961, Iraq threatened to invade Kuwait, a well-prepared plan, named "Vantage" to which Elworthy had contributed significantly, was implemented. Its success as a deterrent owed much to Elworthy's talent for achieving co-operation between the three services and civilians particularly in Aden.
On his retirement as Chief of the Defence Staff, Elworthy became Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle for seven years. He also served as Lord Lieutenant of Greater London from 1973 to 1978.
The combination of these illustrious offices gave rise to some diverting incidents. During the State Visit of the President of Italy, Elworthy greeted the visitor on arrival at Tilbury as Lord-Lieutenant and then dashed by helicopter to Windsor to perform the same duty as Governor of the Castle. The Queen, when presenting Elworthy on that occasion, remarked that the President must be beginning to think that she was rather short of functionaries.
Among his numerous other appointments, he was chairman of the Royal Over-Seas League and of the King Edward VII Hospital for Officers; Master of the Skinners' Company; a director of British Petroleum, Plessey and the National Bank of New Zealand; and a governor of Wellington, Marlborough and Bradfield Colleges.
Sam Elworthy was an extraordinarily handsome man and, despite his gallant war record and distinguished career, a modest one. He remained at heart a serving officer and was happiest in the company of his fellow officers.
His courage and physical prowess were legendary and until Whitehall swallowed him up, he took part in all the exercises and endurance tests which the troops under his command underwent, often lasting the course far better than much younger men.
He had a keen sense of humour and greatly enjoyed jokes in the Mess, especially when they were at his own expense. When he reached the higher ranks he was equally fearless in fighting for what he believed was right his arguments with Mountbatten as CDS, and at Cabinet level when he himself succeeded "Uncle Dickie" were celebrated in their day.
Elworthy was awarded the DSO, DFC and AFC in 1941 and mentioned three times in despatches between 1941 and 1944. He was appointed CBE in 1946, LVO in 1953, CB in 1960, KCB in 1961 and GCB in 1962. He was created a Life Peer as Baron Elworthy in 1972 and in 1977 became the first New Zealander to be installed as a Knight of the Garter. He was also a Knight of the Order of St John of Jerusalem.
In 1978, after he left Windsor, he returned to New Zealand, to live in the valley where he had been born. But he continued to make annual trips to Britain to attend the Garter Ceremony and to see his many devoted friends in the old country.
Elworthy married, in 1936, Audrey Hutchinson, who died in 1986. They had three sons and a daughter.
This obituary is thought to be from the Financial Times
THE TIMES TUESDAY APRIL 1993
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Lord Elworthy, KG, GCB, CBE,
DSO, LVO, DFC, AFC, Chief of Defence Staff, 1967-71,
Died on April 4 aged 82. He was born in Timaru, New Zealand, on
March 23, 1911.
AT THE point at which he took over command of the RAF in 1963, the career of Charles Elworthy had been one of almost unalloyed brilliance. He was commanding a bomber squadron in 1940 within four years of being granted a permanent commission. In a single year of operations he won three medals, the DSO, DFC and AFC. In the early postwar period he established himself as one of the persuasive influences on the development of bomber tactics.
As Commander-in-Chief in the Middle East for three years from 1960 he enabled Britain to be a stabilising force in a highly volatile region and in 1961 foiled an Iraqi attempt to seize Kuwait. A lawyer by education, he combined in abundant measure intellectual capacity with an ability to sway the minds of his fellow men and bend them to his opinion.
Many thus felt it sad that, when he reached the top of his service, it was largely as the instrument of a government policy of swingeing defence cuts which hit the RAF particularly badly. When he became Chief of Defence Staff four years later it was, as he himself said, virtually to discharge the duties of an undertaker on all three forces. He felt these humiliations keenly. His senior colleagues found it ironic that the RAF should have to suffer so badly under one of its youngest and most able commanders. Some looked for his resignation as a point of honour, as they did those of the other service chiefs. Elworthy felt he ought to stay in place, if only to try to minimise damage through repeated warnings of the consequences of defence cuts. It was not his fault that those warnings were totally ignored.
Sam Elworthy, as he was known throughout his service career was born in New Zealand, the son of a wealthy farmer. He was sent to Britain to be educated at Marlborough and Trinity College, Cambridge. There he read law and was a keen oarsman, rowing for the First Trinity Boat Club and twice reaching the semi-final of the Ladies Plate at Henley Regatta. At Cambridge he learnt to fly and subsequently joined 600 (City of London) Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force, a bomber unit.
He graduated in law in 1933 and was called to the Bar in 1935. But after less than a year at Lincoln's Inn, he joined the RAF and was given a permanent commission. After a year with No 15 Squadron he was appointed personal assistant to the AOC-in-C Bomber Command. For one so junior this was an acknowledgement of the powers of analysis and organisation that were later to take him to the top.
Soon after the outbreak of war, he was sent to an operational training unit to prepare young bomber pilots and navigators for operational flying. Although important, this job did not recommend itself to a man who was itching to get to grips with the enemy.
Elworthy restlessly agitated for a transfer to an operational unit and in December 1940 was given command of No 82 Squadron, equipped with Blenheims. To a man less totally dedicated this might have seemed something of a poisoned chalice. The Blenheim, wretchedly inadequate for its task, with a maximum bomb load of 1,OOOlb, was a poor cousin of the vastly superior Wellington.
Indeed No 82 had been so savaged during the Battle of France that it had been deemed no longer to exist after one raid in which it had lost 11 out of 12 aircraft. Only the vigorous exertions of its then leader, Wing Commander the Earl of Bandon, had saved it from extinction as a fighting unit.
Now, based in Norfolk, it had the thankless task of trying to inflict damage on Axis shipping and on targets in occupied territories. Elworthy rose above the technical shortcomings of his equipment and through sheer force of personality and flying skills welded it into a remarkably effective force. By the end of the year he had not only managed to avoid getting killed, a considerably more than
50-50 chance for a bomber squadron commander over 12 months of operations in those days, but he had been awarded the AFC, DFC and DSO.
Rested from operations, he next had staff appointments at No 2 Group and at Bomber Command headquarters where his experience and success as a squadron commander were useful in the planning of future bomber tactics. For a year from the spring of 1942 he commanded RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, before being transferred back to Bomber Command HQ and then to No 5 Group where he ended the war as senior staff officer. His reputation as both operational commander and staff officer was, by then, a matter of discussion in the senior echelons of the RAF.
From 1945 to 1947 he commanded the Central Bomber Establishment and led its first overseas liaison mission to the Far East, Australia and New Zealand. His appointment as CBE in 1946 recognised his contribution to the development of bomber tactics and the testing of new equipment.
Among subsequent postings were secondments to the new Indian and Pakistani air forces and in 1953 he was selected to command the RAF station Odiham where the Queen's Coronation Review was held in June of that year. The success of this RAF occasion earned him appointment as MVO (fourth class) subsequently translated to LVO. From command of the RAF Staff College, Bracknell, he became Deputy Chief of the Air Staff in 1959. But in the following year this appointment was cut short when he was sent to Aden as Commander-in-Chief Middle East. It was a testing time. The region was politically unstable and trouble was never far below the surface. The increasing tempo of Arab nationalism was beginning to concentrate its attentions on the British presence in Aden.
Among Britain's tasks were protection of her oil interests, defence of the nascent Federation of Sheikhdoms against Yemen and support for the Sultan of Muscat and Oman against rebellious elements. But the most pressing danger was the longstanding claim on Kuwait by President Kassim of Iraq.
As soon as he arrived in Aden, Elworthy moved fast to complete a reorganisation of the Aden headquarters to enable the command to be reinforced by balanced forces in strength and at speed. Training was pressed forward relentlessly in temperatures which often reached 125F (46C). Within six months the new headquarters had become a symbol of Britain's will and capacity to intervene anywhere in the Middle East in defence of her own or her allies' interests.
This contingency planning was not completed a moment too soon. On June 25, 1961, Kassim suddenly and vociferously renewed his claim that Kuwait was part of Iraq. Soon afterwards British intelligence reported that a large Iraqi armoured force was massing close to the Kuwaiti frontier. The British government immediately ordered Elworthy to reinforce Kuwait. Commandos from aircraft carrier Bulwark, en route n the Far East, were ashore by July 1. In a few hours they had secured the airport, allowing a squadron of Hunter jet fighters to be flown in. More commandos were brought from Aden while elements of the Coldstream Guards arrived from Bahrain. Two troops of Centurion tanks were disembarked from the landing ship Striker. Thus by night fall small but effective infantry forces with armour and air support were in position to counter an Iraqi threat. Over the following days more armour and infantry with the most modern anti-tank missiles arrived to build the defenders up to a full strength brigade. Faced with this armed resolve, the Iraqi tanks stayed where they were. It was a lesson in deterrence, which stands in marked contrast to the indecision which necessitated the dispatch of a huge costly multinational expeditionary force to perform the same task in 1991.
In September 1963 Elworthy returned to the United Kingdom to become Chief of the Air Staff. He brought to the Air Ministry a wealth of experience and a fund of good will. Outwardly the RAF appeared to be a happy and efficient service with a great future ahead of it. But the new Chief of Air Staff was destined to preside over some of the heaviest cuts ever administered to the services. After an unhappy four years the situation had not in anyway changed when, in August 1967, he became chief of Defence Staff.
Many of his greatest admirers regretted that such a brilliant career in the RAF should have ended coincidentally with the introduction of a redundancy scheme for the services which became operative almost on the day he handed over as Chief of the Air Staff. Many officers and men left the service disappointed and disillusioned.
Nevertheless, Sam Elworthy will remembered for his many personal qualities. His unhappy time at the top of his profession does not detract from his qualities as a strategic thinker of the highest calibre and as a leader able to translate theory into concrete activity.
From 1971 to 1978 he was Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle and from 1973 to 1978 Lord Lieutenant of Greater London. In 1972 he was made a life peer. He retired to live in New Zealand in 1978.
He married, in 1936, Audrey Hutchinson, who died in 1986. They Had three sons and one daughter.
Timaru Herald 19 January 2004
Home-Coming: The banner of the late Samuel Charles Elworthy, Grand Knight Commander of the Bath, is now hanging in St Mary's Church, Timaru after being brought home from Westminster Abbey. The banner, which features the Elworthy coat of arms, was presented to the church at a special service on Saturday and is now hanging in the St Michael and All Angels Chapel. Archdeacon Philip Robinson is pictured at right leading the service.
Sir C. Elworthv to be Defence Chief
From our Air Correspondant,
Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles Elworthy. Chief of the Air Staff is to be the next Chief of the Defence Staff, as foreshadowed in The Times of September 6. The Ministry of Defence announced last night that he will succeed Field Marshal Sir Richard Hull next August.
The appointment has been held in turn by the heads of the three Services. Marshal of RAF Sir William Dickson became the first C,D.S. in 1958. He was succeeded by Admiral of the Fleet Lord Mountbatten of Burma from whom Sir Richard look over last year.
Sir Charles has been Chief of Air Staff since 1963. A New Zealander he was educated at Marlborough College and Trinity College Cambridge and called to the Bar in 1935. He celebrated his fifty fifth birthday last March by flying a Lightning aircraft at 1000 mph.
The Times 30 Nov 1966 Pg 1 Col B.
Samuel married Audrey HUTCHINSON  [MRIN: 181] in 1936. (Audrey HUTCHINSON  was born in 1910 in Auckland NZ, died in 1986 and was buried in Gordons Valley Timaru N.Z..)