A Poppy
A Poppy

Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Biography -
- Peter Beale Spanner -

Unknown person Name : Peter Beale Spanner

Son of : Percy Harry Spanner and Bessie Spanner (née Barton), of Ventnor.

Born : 1922 (registered Godshill sub-district).

His father, Percy Harry Spanner, died 1927

His mother, Bessie Spanner, remarried, in 1936, Frederick Arthur Graves

His three brothers were -
Robert Percival Beale Spanner b 1914 d 1979
Raymond John Beale Spanner b 1917 d 1981
William Francis Beale Spanner b 1919 d 1985
  Electoral roll information :

1925 : The Spanner family are listed at Montebello House, Victoria Street, Ventnor.

1929 : The Spanner family are listed at Cambridge House, Trinity Road, Ventnor.

1933 : Bessie Spanner is listed at Avenue Road, Wroxall.

  Service Details :

Trooper 1471120 Peter Spanner, Royal Tank Regiment.

Casualty Details :

Died : 7 September 1944, aged 22.

Buried at : Heverlee War Cemetery, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium.

CWGC Record
  Commemorated on these Memorials :

Ventnor War Memorial
Whitwell War Memorial
  Documents and Newspaper cuttings :


Friday, September 22, 1944 Page 3

Ventnor and the War
Killed in Action
Mrs. Graves of The Cottage, Dean Crossing, Whitwell, received the distressing news on Monday that one of her sons, Trooper Peter Spanner, Royal Tank Regiment, had been killed in action in France. He was 22 years of age and single. Spanner joined the I.W. Rifles when 16 years of age and was with them in camp when war broke out. He was with the Royal Artillery at Hayling Island throughout the Battle of Britain and had only transferred to the R.T.R. about six months ago. Three of his brothers are serving in H.M. forces and one of them, Raymond, who is with the Royal Ordnance Corps, has been a prisoner of war for two and half years.


Friday, October 6, 1944 Page 3

The Late Trooper Peter Spanner
"Gave his Life for his Friends"
Recently we recorded the death in action of Trooper Peter Spanner, who was the son of Mrs. Graves, The Cottage, Dean Crossing, Whitwell, and of the late Mr. Percy Spanner, of Ventnor. He was 22 years of age. Mrs. Graves has now received letters from two of deceased's officers, paying high tribute to his memory.
Major E.W. Forster, in the course of a sympathetic message, wrote : - "After we had been attacked by night, as we guarded a vital cross-roads, we drew back in the morning, where by day we could dominate the roads but were less close to the enemy. As we came back the tank in which your son was crewed broke down. A recovery vehicle was just manoeuvring to pull the tank away when it was hit. Your son was killed instantly. He can have known no pain. I view this as part of the night's operation when we had prevented the enemy from breaking through into our lines of communication, where he would have caused heavy casualties to other troops behind us. Truly your son gave his life for his friends. He was buried with full military honours with his three other comrades in a little cemetery of British soldiers killed in 1940. His grave, like that of the others, is heaped with flowers by the local peasants. The friends of your son here join with me in this message of deep sympathy."
Lieut. G.A. Mortimer wrote : "... He had joined my troop in England and was a very useful member - a very keen and useful soldier - and his loss leaves a gap which we shall find hard to fill. Apart from his military efficiency, he had a charming personality and was extremely popular, both with the officers and the men in in the squadron."
Describing the events leading up to Trooper Spanner's death, the writer continued : "Perhaps you would like to know that your son died to save the lives of hundreds of his comrades ... we were attacked by a far superior force of Germans who had the intention to cut our line of supply and thus endanger the lives of hundreds of men in the forward front line. During the whole night the battalion held its own, bringing down devastating fire on the attacking enemy, and during this time your son kept his guns firing ... He remained at his post although the tank was at the time immobile and in an exposed position ... An officer visited the grave and found it covered with flowers - a high Belgian tribute to those who have fallen."
  Acknowledgments :

Janet Griffin for newspaper research
  Page status :
Page last updated : 13 September 2015 (added to website)


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