John Lea Longstaff

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Lieutenant-Commander John Lea Longstaff, R.N. (29 December, 1883 – 17 January, 1940) served in the Royal Navy. Though "slighty deaf", he served ably until problems with alcohol faced him with three wartime Courts Martial.

Life & Career

Born in London.

Longstaff was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 31 December, 1905.

Longstaff was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 31 December 1913.

On 9 March 1915, Longstaff was appointed to the minelayer Princess Margaret as acting Commander.

In 1915, he was tried at a Court Martial for being drunk aboard Princess Margaret. He was dismissed the ship and reprimanded. He was mentioned in gazette on 1 January 1916 for services in minelayers and was to be awarded a D.S.O., but this award was cancelled in light of his drinking incident.

Longstaff's next appointment was to work with the Royal Naval Air Service, vice Hornsby. On 10 October 1916, however, he was again subjected to a Court Martial for being drunk on shore and creating a disturbance. He pled guilty and was dismissed the ship, docked a year's seniority and subjected to quarterly reports. He was appointed in command of the gunboat Blackfly and his first such report in this command was acceptable, but on 10 December 1917 he found himself under arrest, pending a Court Martial for being drunk on board. Longstaff again pled guilty on 21 January, 1918, but this third strike had proven too much. Longstaff was dismissed the service.

In February of 1918, he was reported to have enlisted in the 6th Battalion of the Hants Regiment.


In mid-1930, the navy forwarded a statement of Longstaff's service to Sea Control Bureau Officers' Charities.

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Captain of H.M.S. Blackfly
8 Nov, 1916[1] – 21 Jan, 1918
Succeeded by


  1. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 391t.