Reffell Family History

Flying Officer 81647 Robert Frank Spencer-Schrader

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed on Active Service on Friday, 6th February 1942 aged 23

Personal Information:
Robert Frank Spencer-Schrader was born in the third quarter of 1918 in St George Hanover Square. He was the son of Eric Louis Spencer-Schrader and Emily Ruth Dirle of Rambodagalla in Ceylon. There were also two daughters; Joan and Pamela. Eric Louis Spencer-Schrader was a Captain with the Royal Fusiliers during the First World War. After the Second World War, the family returned to UK and lived at Newdigate in Surrey.

Bristol BeaufortHistorical Information:
Flying Officer Robert Frank Spencer-Schrader was killed in the same aircraft crash that killed Flight Sergeant William Leonard Heavisides and Pilot Officer Anthony Hugh Denison Reffell. More on the circumstances of that crash can be seen on the page about Anthony.

On 6 February 1942, FO Spencer-Schrader, FSt Heavisides and PO Reffell prepared for dual night flying training in Bristol Beaufort Mk I, registration L4499. Their flight took off from RAF Chivenor at 06:05 when the aircraft suffered an port engine failure in the initial climb out. This was a common occurrence on the Beaufort, which then crashed on in front of a house called 'Sundown' in Down Lane Braunton. There were no survivors and sadly one civilian was also killed on the ground.

Cemetery:
The churchyard of St Augustine, Heanton Punchardon, Devon; Row M Grave 16

Grave of Robert Frank Spencer-Schrader

"DAWN WAS HIS AND SUNSET AND THE COLOURS OF THE EARTH"