Beddall, Robert Spencer (1907-1927)
Sherborne School, UK, Book of Remembrance for former pupils who have lost their lives in the service of their country, 1919-1939 and 1946 to date.
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Credit: Sherborne School Archives, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, DT9 3AP.
Details: Robert Spencer Beddall (1907-1927), born 28 November 1907 at Landulph, Cornwall, son of Herbert Bowman Beddall and Sarah Edith Louise Beddall (née Watson), Truro, Cornwall.
Attended R.M. Chadwick Jones's school, Swanage, Dorset.
Attended Sherborne School (Harper House), September 1921-December 1925; 6th form; School Prefect; Head of House; shooting viii team (1923, 1924, 1925); Senior Class Leader with Badge; Company Sergeant-Major in OTC.
RAF College, Cranwell.
Flight-Cadet, Royal Air Force. Died on 10 September 1927 following the crash of his D.H.9 on 9 September 1927 near Leadenham Hill Top, Lincolnshire, of the RAF Cadet College, Cranwell.
Sherborne School Book of Remembrance.
Aberdeen Journal, 13 September 1927:
ERROR OF JUDGMENT. Cadet Killed After Stalling 500 Feet Up. Crashing on Friday last when flying a D.H.9 over Leadenham, in Lincolnshire, Cadet Robert Spencer Beddall, of Truro, attached to the RAF College at Cranwell, died from his injuries in hospital the following day. At the inquest at Cranwell Aerodrome yesterday, when a verdict of accidental death was returned, it was stated that Spencer, when taken from the wreckage of his machine, explained that he stalled at a height of 500 feet, and getting into a left-hand spin, fell. Both his legs were broken, and his skull was fractured. Spencer was considered one of the best pupils in the flight to which he was attached. A flying officer attributed the accident to an error of judgment.
Taunton Courier, 14 September 1927:
AIRMAN’S FATAL ERROR. CRASHED AFTER STALLING AT 500 FEET.
How an RAF cadet made a fatal error of judgment was described at the inquest on Monday on Cadet Robert Spencer Beddall, aged twenty, who was killed at Cranwell Aerodrome. He was conscious when taken from the wreckage of his machine, and stated that while flying at 500ft, he stalled, and getting into a left-hand spin, fell. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.
The Shirburnian, November 1927:
ROBERT SPENCER BEDDALL, Cadet at Cranwell, crashed on September 9th, 1927, and died the following day. He was considered “one of the best pupils of his flight” and on the wreath placed on his grave by the officers of Cranwell were the words “In memory of an exemplary cadet who maintained the highest standards.” He entered Harper House in September, 1921, and eventually became Head of the House and a School Prefect.