Lord Craig

David Craig, Baron Craig of Radley

Marshal of the Royal Air Force David Brownrigg Craig, Baron Craig of Radley, GCB, OBE (born 17 September 1929) is a retired Royal Air Force officer and member of the House of Lords.

Early and familiy life

David Craig was born in Dublin on 17 September 1929, the son of Major Francis Craig and his wife Olive. As a boy growing up in the Republic of Ireland, he was largely unaffected by the events of World War II. In 1943 he came to England and started at Radley College where, in addition to his studies, rowed and later became Head of School. He gained a place at Lincoln College, Oxford and joined Oxford University Air Squadron. Craig graduated with a BA in Pure Mathematics in 1951.

Craig married Elisabeth Derenburg in 1955. They have two children, Christopher Craig (born 1957) and Susan Craig (born 1960).

RAF career

After receiving his commission in 1951, the Lord Craig went on to fly Meteors and Hunters. In 1965, Craig was appointed Military Assistant to the then Chief of the Defence Staff, Field Marshal Sir Richard Hull. During this time, Craig witnessed many of the policy changes that came about whilst Denis Healey was Secretary of State for Defence.

Notably, he has commanded No. 35 Squadron, been Station Commander at RAF Cranwell, Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Strike Command.

Lord Craig was Chief of the Air Staff from 1985 to 1988, and subsequently Chief of Defence Staff from 9 December 1988 to 1 April 1991.

Later life

On 30 July 1991, following his retirement from the RAF, Craig was made a life peer as Baron Craig of Radley, of Helhoughton in the County of Norfolk. He was the Convenor of the Crossbench Peers in the House of Lords from December 1999 until July 2004.

Also in retirement from active service, Lord Craig joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve in the rank of Flying Officer in order to fly De Havilland Chipmunk T Mk 10 aircraft for the Air Training Corps.

As of 2003, Craig lived at Park House in Helhoughton, Norfolk.




  1. Marshals of the Royal Air Force remain on the active list even when they have, for all practical purposes, retired.

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