Major General Sir John Raynsford Longley KCMG CB
John Raynsford Longley, born in 1867, was educated at Cheltenham College and received a regular commission in The East Surrey Regiment in 1887 after serving for two years in the 4th Militia Battalion, The East Surrey Regiment.
He first saw active service in 1902 in South Africa where he served under General Kitchener, first as Adjutant and then as Second-in-Command of the Canadian Scouts during the operations in the Transvaal, Orange Free State and Cape Colony, for which he received the Queen’s Medal with four clasps.
After the South African War, he took over the Adjutancy of a Volunteer (Brecknockshire) Battalion of the South Wales Borderers (he had already served as Adjutant of 1st East Surreys), but returned to the Regiment again in 1903 on promotion to Major.
Lieutenant Colonel Longley was commanding 1st East Surreys when they went to France in August, 1914, and he fought at Mons, Le Cateau, the Marne, the Aisne, La Bassée and Armentiéres. According to contemporary reminiscences he was a fine commanding officer, courageous to a fault. He set an example of leadership and initiative and was a constant source of inspiration to the officers and men of his battalion.
Early in 1915 he was promoted to command the 82nd Infantry Brigade. It was constantly in action during the next twelve months and fought at, amongst other places, St Julien, Bullevarde and Hooge. Towards the end of the year he was appointed to command 10th Irish Division, with the rank of Major General, and saw more fighting in Macedonia and Palestine (including actions at Kosturino, Struma, Megiddo and Gaza). For his service during the 1914-18 war, General Longley was awarded the CMG, the CB and finally the KCMG. Besides receiving several foreign decorations, he was Mentioned in Despatches no less than ten times. After the war Sir John took over the 44th Home Counties Division, a command which he retained until 1923 when he retired from the Army.
During the Second World War he was re-employed as a Brigadier and served in Dover Garrison. He died in February 1953.