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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. R C Reynell


Richard Carew Reynell was born in Reynella, South Australia on 9th January 1912, the son of Colonel Carew Reynell (1883-1915) and Marian May Reynell (nee Byard 1886-1967).

Carew Reynell was a member of the pioneering wine-making Reynell family.

Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, Reynell volunteered to serve in the Australian Imperial Force. He rose rapidly through the ranks and was appointed as a Major in the 9th Light Horse Regiment. During the Gallipoli Campaign, he took command of the regiment after its commanding officer was killed at the shambolic Battle of the Nek.

Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, he was killed shortly after on 28th August at the Battle of Hill 60, aged 31. He lies in the Hill 60 British Cemetery. Reynell was posthumously Mentioned in Dispatches on 5th November 1915.


Richard Reynell was educated at St Peters College, Adelaide.

He went to England in 1929 and passed the Oxford University entrance examination to read Agriculture at Balliol College.

Reynell joined the University Air Squadron and he was commissioned in the Reserve of Air Force Officers in March 1931.

He relinquished this on being granted a short service commission in the RAF in September 1931. On the 28th Reynell was posted to 5 FTS Sealand and with his training completed he joined 43 Squadron at Tangmere on 8th March 1932.

He flew one of three Furies of the squadron which performed at the International Air Meeting at Brussels on 11th June 1933. Reynell went to the Station Flight at Duxford on 6th December 1934 and then joined the instructing staff at 8 FTS Montrose on 4th May 1936.

He went on to the RAFO on 15th January 1937. After a visit to Australia Reynell returned to Britain and became a test pilot at Hawkers.

He married Enid Marjorie Allen (1914-2006) on 24th September 1938 at St Giles Church, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire and they had one son, John Richard Carew Reynell (1939-1973).

At the outbreak of war, Reynell remained on the RAFO but was seconded to Hawkers to continue his test pilot duties. On 26th August 1940 he was attached to 43 Squadron at Tangmere, for operational experience. Reynell claimed a Me109 destroyed on 2nd September.

Reynell was shot down on the 7th September in combat with Me109s over South London. He baled out, wounded, but his parachute failed to open and he fell dead near Blackheath, his Hurricane V7257 crashing nearby.

Reynell is buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey.







On 28th June 2013 a memorial to Reynell was unveiled close to his crash site, see:


A large number of the extended Reynell family attended plus guests from Australia.


Above portrait by Geoff Nutkins of Shoreham Aircraft Museum.

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