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Flight Lieutenant Richard Carew Reynell

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Credit for this entry to:
Alan Patient of

Flight Lieutenant Richard Carew Reynell

Person  Male  Born 9/1/1912  Died 7/9/1940

Categories: Armed Forces

Countries: Australia

Pilot. Born at Reynella, South Australia. He came to England in 1929 (or 1921, see below) and studied at Oxford. He became a test pilot for Hawker's and in 1940 was attached to 43 Squadron. On the 7th September at approximately 5.00 p.m. he was shot down over Greenwich. He was blown out of his Hurricane, but his parachute failed to open. The plane itself broke into three pieces, with the engine going through the roof of St Ursula’s Convent, setting the building on fire.  Our information is from the Greenwich Phantom.

It would be nice to know if his surname's closeness to the name of his place of birth is coincidence or if he took the name for some reason - see below for the answer.

Andrew Behan kindly provides the additional research: He married Enid Marjorie Allen (1914-2006) on 24 September 1938 at St Giles Church, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire and they had one son, John Richard Carew Reynell (1939-1973). The 1939 England and Wales Register shows them living at The Old Forge, West End, Chobham, Surrey. When he died, aged 28 years, he was buried in Plot 56, Grave 202417, St Bartholomew's Avenue, within the Brookwood Military Cemetery, Woking, GU24 0BL. Probate was granted to both his widow and Philip Gadesden Lucas, a chief test pilot, on 3 May 1941. His effects totalled £1,773-16-10d. He is also commemorated on the Battle of Britain Monument, Victoria Embankment, London and also on the World War II memorial at Balliol College, Oxford, on the East Wall of their Chapel Passage.

Andrew adds: "My research discovered that he, along with his widowed mother and elder sister - Lidia, were on the passenger list of the 'Markunda' steamship of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company Ltd when it arrived at Tilbury on 16 April 1921 having boarded at Adelaide, Australia. He was recorded as aged 9 years.

A date of birth of 9 August 1912 (making him aged 8 years 8 months and 7 days old when he landed at Tilbury), is shown on Obituaries Australia. Virtual War Memorial Australia gives both this date and 9 January 1912. Most other records I have traced give his date of birth as 9 January 1912 (including the 1939 England and Wales Register) and this would have made him aged 9 years, 3 months and 7 days on his arrival at Tilbury. I therefore believe his correct date of birth is 9 January 1912 and that he arrived in England in 1921."

And Andrew has investigated the surname/place of birth coincidence: "The Wikipedia page for Old Reynella:-states that this suburb of Adelaide, South Australia, was named after John Reynell, a farmer who was born in 1809 in South Devonshire, England. I have researched the family tree and can confirm that Richard Carew Reynell was the great grandson of John Reynell. It would appear that Richard Carew Reynell (1912-1940) was the son of Carew Reynell (1883-1915) and May Marion Reynell née Byard (1882-1967). Carew Reynell was the son of Walter Reynell (1846-1919) and Emily Reynell née Bakewell (1851-1887). Walter Reynell was the son of John Reynell (1809-1873) and Mary Ann Reynell née Lucas. John Reynell, although born in Bristol, Gloucestershire was, at the time of his marriage to Mary Ann Lucas, residing in Newton Abbot, Devonshire."

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Flight Lieutenant Richard Carew Reynell

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