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{$text['mgr_tartan1]'} In Memoriam 1

Group Captain Peter Long: 1944 - 2001

Donald Simpson

Peter Long

Group Captain Peter James Long: 1944-2001. RAF Consultant in Rheumatology & Rehabilitation
RAF Hedley CourtBadg

Promoted to Flight Lieutenant 27 July 1970
Promoted to Squadron Leader 27 July 1975
Promoted to Wing Commander 27 July 1983
Promoted to Group Captain 27 July 1993

Pete joined the RAF Medical Branch after 2nd MB in 1967 and, like the rest of us who took the Queen's shilling, donned uniform after full registration. He made his career in the RAF and went on to specialise in rheumatology and rehabilitation. In 1974 he married Penelope and they raised a family together. While at the peak of his RAF career at the famous RAF led Joint Services Medical Rehabilitation Unit at Headley Court he was struck down with a Glioblastoma multiforme and died on 30th January 2001 at the age of 56. He left a widow and two children. The main ward at Headley Court was named in his honour and THE PETER LONG UNIT will be re-opened by a VIP in May 2013 after refurbishment. Penelope is unable to attend that event but will attend the annual Sunset Ceremony in the summer, to which she is always invited.

RAF Hedley ward sign

The following obituary was given at an RAF Medical reunion:

Group Captain Peter Long graduated in 1969 from St Andrew's University and Queens College; Dundee Medical School where he gained distinctions in Microbiology and Pathology. He joined the RAF as a cadet in 1967 and after his house jobs entered full-time service. For his first 3 years he worked in Primary Care and gained broad experience in community and tropical health, family health, Aviation Medicine and Aeromedical Evacuation whilst serving in Singapore at RAF Tengah. At that time the Vietnam War was still active and Peter was put in charge of co-ordinating the Aeromedical Evacuation of casualties for South East Asia for the ANZUK Forces.

Posted to the Defence Services Medical Rehabilitation Units at Headley Court and Chessington he worked with Dr Kit Wyn Parry and gained extensive experience in the field of Electromyography. During this phase he saw the need for, designed, implemented and operated one of the first cardiac rehabilitation programmes. This was enormously successful. In 1995 at Headley Court he took responsibility for spine rehabilitation and extensively revised the back pain rehabilitation programmes. His development of the short spinal assessment course has proven so successful that spinal rehabilitation is now the largest patient group at the Defence Services Medical Rehabilitation Centre. His development of goal based outcome programmes for rehabilitation of young adults with traumatic brain and spinal cord injury has successfully shortened rehabilitation times, returning patients more rapidly to useful and productive activity.

Following the Defence Costs Study which reshaped the way in which medical business was undertaken in the Armed Services, Peter commanded RAF Headley Court during its transition to the Defence Secondary Care Agency. For his outstanding contributions to Rehabilitation Medicine, in particular within the Armed Forces, he was invested Officer Brother of the Most Venerable Order of St john of Jerusalem in December 1998. This year he was made a Member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and awarded an honorary MRCP by the Royal College of Physicians.

To all his Medical tasks Peter brought a rare ability to combine administrative skill and prescient foresight with care and compassion. Due to his dedication and his outstanding rehabilitation skills, there are many patients who owe their health and careers to his ministrations. He was an outstanding RAF Officer and friend to many. We ask that you remember him in your thoughts during this Reunion gathering.

RAF Hedley CO board

From the Court Circular


The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh today visited the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Hedley Court, and were received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey (Dame Sarah Goad), the Commander, Defence Medical Group (Surgeon Commodore Peter Buxton) and Group Captain Clare Walton (Commanding Officer).

Her Majesty and His Royal Highness toured the Centre, escorted respectively by the Commanding Officer and Colonel Alan Mistlin (Military Clinical Director), viewing patients engaged in therapy and rehabilitation and meeting staff attending patients, doctors, nursers and therapists.

The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, opened the renovated Peter Long Unit, before being entertained to Luncheon by the Commanding Officer in the Officers' Mess.

REFERENCE: "Queen Visits Injured Troops at Hedley Court": Report and video by Paul Harrison, Royal Correspondent: SkyNEWS HD

Please contact us

email If you would like to add a personal message or leave a personal memory of Peter please Get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.

Page compiled by Christopher Morris

Added: July 1st 2013

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