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Robert Lawrence Spurdle

  • Service number
    • WWII 44230 AWMM
    • WWII NZ2454 AWMM
    • NZ2454 Public - John - Researcher - 4 March 2021 - C. Hanson By Such Deeds page 452. 44230 was his RAF service number
  • Also known as
    • Peter AWMM
    • Spud AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Air Force AWMM
  • Last rank
  • War
In snow at Volkel January 1945. Image from Lee Melles collection. Caption from Sortehaug, P. (1998). p. 207. left to right, back row: Keith Alexander Smith, William Arthur Kalka, William John Campbell, Andrew Ralph Evans, Neville Joseph Powell, Brian John O Connor, Owen David Eagleson, William Alan Liddell Trott, Loyd James Appleton, Raymond Jack Danzey. Front row; Sydney john Short, Colin James McDonald, Thomas Michael Fenton, Cornelius James Sheddan, Harold Longley, Keith Frederick Thiele, Arthur Ernest Umbers, Evan Mackie, Joseph Crafts, Robert Spurdle, John Edward Wood, Ross Alexander Melles, Alan Clive Inclis, William Lister Miller. - This image may be subject to copyright

In snow at Volkel January 1945. Image from Lee Melles collection. Caption from Sortehaug, P. (1998). …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Robert Lawrence AWMM
  • Surname
    Spurdle AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • Peter AWMM
    • Spud AWMM
  • Service number
    • WWII 44230 AWMM
    • WWII NZ2454 AWMM
    • NZ2454 Public - John - Researcher - 4 March 2021 - C. Hanson By Such Deeds page 452. 44230 was his RAF service number
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    3 March 1918 AWMM WhanganuiManawatu-Wanganui AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Mr & Mrs F.M. Spurdle (parents), Wanganui, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status
    Pre 7 June 1940 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    • Rongotai -Ground Training AWMM
    • No. 1 EFTS, Taieri AWMM
    • No. 1 FTS, Wigram AWMM
    • RAF, Uxbridge AWMM
    • No. 7 OTU, Hawarden AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 Jul 1939 AWMM
    Age 21 AWMM
    Warehouseman/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Husband of Shirley

    Educated at Wanganui Collegiate.

    Joined RNZAF Sep 1939, transferred RAF July 1940, transferred again back to RNZAF July 1945.

    Embarked as a Trainee Pilot, rank unknown

    Known as Peter by family. Portrait in Wynn, K. (1981). The Battle of Britain: 10 July - 31 October 1940

    "During the Battle of Britian Squadron Leader Spurdle flew with the 74 Squadron. Member of the 'Caterpillar Club' having baled out over England on 22nd October 1940. He completed five tours of duty involving 564 fighter sorties. He also cerved with the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit, in which Hurricanes were catapulted from specially fitted merchant ships to give convoy protection against German reconnaissance bombers. Once launched the pilot had the choice of flying to the nearest coast i(if within range), ditching or baling out at sea. After a year with the RNZAF in New Zealand and the Pacific in 1943 he returned to the UK, where he served briefly with the 130 Squadron RAF (Spitfire). " Hanson, p. 452 AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    5 March 1994 AWMM
    WhitiangaWaikato AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • Thompson, H. (1956). New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force (Vols. 1-3). Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
    • Wynn, K. (1981). A clasp for "The Few". Auckland. N.Z.: Author. AWMM
    • Sortehaug, P. (1998). The wild winds : the history of number 486 RNZAF Fighter Squadron with the RAF5. Dunedin, N.Z.: Author. AWMM
    • The Evening Post AWMM
    • Hanson, C. (2001). By such deeds: honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999. Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
      p. 452 AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
    • Ministry for Culture and Heritage. (2012). New Zealanders serving with RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, 10 July – 31 October 1940. [A list compiled by Ministry for Culture and Heritage with Errol Martyn]. AWMM
    • RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] - Historical Items - List of New Zealand Fighter aces with their Scores (Unofficial) December 1944. Archives New Zealand, Wellington (R17845799). AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
19 February 2024KelvinNorfolk, EnglandResearcher
04 March 2021JohnPerth WAResearcher
30 May 2020Ian BanksTaumarunui New ZealandResearcher

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