An Army Reserve Centre on Norman Road in Rusholme, Manchester, has been renamed in honour of a veteran of the First and Second World Wars who was born 800 metres from the building.
The building, home to Army Reserve unit 6 Military Intelligence Battalion, was renamed Langdon House in honour of Major Geoffrey Harry Langdon. The renaming took place during a ceremony attended by Reservists, representatives of the local community and guest of honour Janet Mary Langdon, Major Langdon’s daughter who lives in London.
To see a video interview with Lieutenant Colonel Phaedra McLean, Commanding Officer 6 Military Intelligence Battalion, and Janet Langdon, visit the Army in the North Facebook page…
Major Langdon was born on 13 October 1887 in Oak Drive, Rusholme. He came from a middle-class Jewish background and spent his early years travelling and working as a managing director at the Manchester Velvet Company. He served in both World Wars, as a local Purchasing Officer with the Army Service Corps in the First World War, being decorated by the British, French and Serbians, and then joining the Intelligence Corps as it was being founded in 1939. He was attached to the Security Service MI5 where he was responsible for coordinating security in London. Between the wars he was instrumental in rescuing thousands of Jewish children from Nazi Germany. He died in 1971 aged 83.
During the ceremony the Commanding Officer of 6 Military Intelligence Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Phaedra McLean, unveiled a special plaque commemorating Major Langdon, mounted on a wall in the entrance to the Army Reserve Centre and featuring photographs and written accounts detailing his military career.
Lieutenant Colonel Phaedra McLean said: “During the Second World War Major Langdon was one of the first officers to join the Intelligence Corps. In honour of him and his links to this community where this building and we sit we’re extremely proud to rename our headquarters in his honour.”
Janet Langdon said: “My father would have been very humble about this but he would have been absolutely thrilled. My father had a car during the Second World War, which was very unusual, and would stop and give a lift to anyone in uniform. He thought all the Forces were absolutely wonderful.
“I think this is almost the most exciting thing that’s ever happened in my life.”
6 Military Intelligence Battalion recruits individuals willing to train and operate as Reservists alongside the Regular Army on exercise and operations. The unit provides the necessary training to enable recruits to become Military Intelligence analysts. The training emphasis is on building an understanding of actual and potential theatres of operation. Analysts need to be able to draw information from a wide variety of sources, ranging from open source material from the news media to highly classified information. They must be able to understand complex situations and then communicate their conclusions to decision makers.