Queer Places:
All Saints Cemetery Maidenhead, Windsor and Maidenhead Royal Borough, Berkshire, England

Margaret Wyndham "Margot" Gore MBE (24 January 1913 – 28 August 1993) was a leading British airwoman and osteopath. She was appointed MBE for her service as a caption in the Air Transport Auxiliary. She may be the first woman to pilot a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. After the war she trained to be an osteopath rising to teach and then sit on the board of the British School of Osteopathy.

Gore was born in Worthing in 1913, and her loves were medicine and flying. Her family moved to Ireland, where she spent her childhood running free with the local hunt and obtaining little formal education. When she was sixteen her family moved back to England, and at Bedford High School for Girls she realised her lack of qualifications.[1] She wanted a career in medicine but lacked the academic background. She worked, but only to raise money for flying lessons at Maylands Aerodrome and she was later able to undertake subsidised lessons with the Civil Air Guard in 1938 as war became inevitable. By 1939 she was a qualified instructor.[1] In 1940 the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) agreed to take women pilots and recruits were gathered by Pauline Gower with an initial eight women pilots. The ATA's role was to deliver aircraft and the De Havilland Tiger Moth was the first to be entrusted to the ATA's new women pilots at Hatfield, Hertfordshire.[2] Gore was not amongst the first eight but she was the tenth and in the next batch to be recruited in June 1940.[1] Gore rose to head the Hamble ATA ferry pool in 1941[3] with Rosemary Rees as her second in command.

In 1941 Joan Hughes became deputy to Margot Gore at the all-female ferry pool at Hamble-on-Solent, eventually flying 91 different types of aircraft. Mary De Bunsen tried to join the Air Transport Auxiliary with the first group but was turned down on medical grounds. With a letter from her doctor confirming that she could see perfectly well with glasses, she was successful on 1 August 1941 and was posted to No. 15 ferry pool at Hamble in Hampshire, an all-women ATA ferry pool, under the command of Margot Gore.

Gore was a flight captain with all female recruits delivering aircraft as they were manufactured to operational units around the country. She was the first to train on the Halifax bomber and she is believed to be the first woman to pilot an American Flying Fortress.[1] Awarded an MBE in the 1944 New Year Honoursfor her services during the war.[4] In 1945 she was still at Amble.[3] She was the first recruit to the WAAF Voluntary Reserve at branch White Waltham Airfield when it was formed in 1947.[5] Gore still wanted to enter medicine and she studied physics, chemistry and biology in order to enter a course in Osteopathy. She was given the gold medal as the best student in 1954 after three years at the British School of Osteopathy. She went on to teach at the school and rose to be on the board of the school and in 1968 she was vice-chairman of the Osteopathic Educational Foundation.[1] She is recognised as one of the key people who shaped the school after the war.[6] Gore died in Nettlebed in 1993.[1]


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