M.81  Senior Commander - Chief Instructor Sir Peter Mursell MBE, DL 

flag england

 b. 20 Jan 1913, Kettering 

23 May 1940 to 26 Jan 1943 (as pilot)

to 30 Sep 1945 


ata peter mursell 1942 1942

ata peter mursell 1945RAeC 1945

   

 

Ed. Bedales School (Head Boy) and Downing College Cambridge (1st in Agriculture)

"Peter started flying in 1933.  In 1936 he flew a Short Scion to India where he tried to interest the Maharaja's in the plane.  He also took part in an air race from Madras to Delhi and flew over the Himalayas saying they would try to see how high they could fly before passing out!  His first date with Cicely involved flying upside down in a small private plane - but she got her own back in her beloved Herbert - an Austin 7 which is still in working order!" nickimason

ata peter mursell marriage 19382

m. 1938 Cecily 'Dil' [North],  2 daughters

prev. a Fruit Grower

Address in 1940: 'Farthings', Kirdford, Sussex


Postings: 1FPP, 2FPP, 3FPP, 6FPP, AFTS

Within a few weeks of joining the ATA, he was told to deliver a Fairey Batle to the BEF in France; "I was still in civilian clothes, but someone produced a uniform three sizes too small for me which was better than nothing, as even in those days it was considered a bit risky to go to France looking like a farmer... Early on 13th June three of us went to Andover to collect our aircraft. We were told we could get maps from there, but when we arrived we found that they could only produce one set between us. Belville got the map, and Robin Hood and I followed on behind." Brief Glory

Having got there, they were stuck until the RAF offered them three unserviceable Hurricanes; "Belville and Hood had flown Hurricanes before, but I had not even seen the cockpit of one."

They later heard that the Germans had occupied the airfield less than 12 hours after they left.

"As second-in-command of 1FPP and later as O.C. of 6FPP, Cmdr Mursell proved outstanding as a pilot and officer & as a leader. This officer is first-class in every respect; both as subordinate and executive, he has proved himself entirely reliable and efficient. " G d'Erlanger


Member of the Royal Commission on Local Government in England, 1966

"After the war, his passion became boats and he and his wife had a 50 foot narrow boat named after his mother Fanny Grace, which they kept for 23 years."

"Kirdford Cricket Club originated in 1889 playing at the present football ground.  After the War cricket was played on the Recreation Ground (which was donated to the village by Sir Peter Mursell)."

29th October 1974 "The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Sir Peter Mursell, M.B.E., to be Vice Lord-Lieutenant for the County of West Sussex to act for Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant during his absence from the county, sickness or other inability to act."

d. 23 Aug 2008, Sussex

Lots more photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/phoebebright/sets/72157607166972073/

and stories at http://petermursell.blogspot.com/

 


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

IWM interview here: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80009781

 

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