About Cyril Louis Norton Newall, Marshal of the Royal Air Force
Marshal of the Royal Air Force 1940; Chief of Air Staff 1937-40; Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of New Zealand 1941-46.
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Cyril Louis Norton Newall, 1st Baron Newall, GCB, OM, GCMG, CBE, AM (15 February 1886 – 30 November 1963) was a senior officer of the British Army and Royal Air Force. He commanded units of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force in the First World War, and served as Chief of the Air Staff during the first years of the Second World War. From 1941 to 1946 he was the Governor-General of New Zealand.
Born to a military family, Newall studied at Sandhurst before taking a commission as a junior officer in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1905. After transferring to the 2nd Gurkha Rifles in the Indian Army, he saw active service on the North West Frontier, but after learning to fly in 1911 turned towards a career in military aviation. During the First World War he rose from a flying instructor to command of No. 41 Wing, the main strategic bombing force, and was awarded the Albert Medal for putting out a fire in an explosives store.
He served in staff positions through the 1920s and was Air Officer Commanding the Middle East Command in the early 1930s before becoming Air Member for Supply and Organisation in 1935. Newall was appointed Chief of the Air Staff in 1937 and, in that role, supported sharp increases in aircraft production, increasing expenditure on the new, heavily-armed, Hurricane and Spitfire fighters, essential to re-equip Fighter Command. However, he was sacked after the Battle of Britain after political intrigue caused him to lose Churchill's confidence. In 1941 he was appointed Governor-General of New Zealand, holding office until 1946.