News & Blog

Balloon AFM at Lockdales

Posted on Wed, 23 February 2011 by Phil Mussell - General News, Medal News

One of the highlights at Lockdales' next auction of collectables (Sunday March 27 2011), is the the medals and ephemera of balloon pilot George Ernest Long. The group comprises the AFM (GV) named 2nd Coxswain G E Long HMA R33, 1914 Star Trio mounted as worn to J.5952 G E Long AM. IGR RNAS, a cased Civil Issue British Empire Medal (named), a boxed 1935 Jubilee Medal, a WWII Defence Medal in named box of issue, and an original set of miniatures.

Long's AFM was awarded for the successful recovery of the Airship R33 on 16th April 1925, when it broke away from its moorings. His Ministry of Aviation Recommendation for the British Empire Medal states that 'Mr Long has contributed more, probably, than any other single individual in the country to the experience which has been built up on the subject of balloons. His part in the work of Cardington has been unique and many difficult and dangerous experiments have been successfully carried out, mainly because of his ability and skill.'

Long was a co-designer and pilot of CARD 1, the great balloon at the Festival of Britain, and among his ephemera are a fantastic series of press photographs of this event. Among other things he was consulted for the film Zeppelin, and a photograph of himself with the actor Michael York is also included.

For more details see