b. 05/03/1890 Ealing, Essex. d. 13/08/1918 Parvillers, France.
Robert Spall (1890-1918) was born on the 5th March 1890 in Ealing, London, the son of Charles and Annie Maria Spall. At the age of two, he moved with his parents to Montreal, Quebec, Canada and lated lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he was employed as a customs broker. In August 1915 he joined the 90th Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, and later was posted to Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in which he became a Sergeant.
Spall earned the Victoria Cross in Parvillers, France, 12th and 13th August 1918 during an enemy counter-attack, when his platoon became isolated. Taking a Lewis gun, he inflicted numerous casualties, then descended into the trench and directed his men into a sap seventy-five metres from the enemy. He again mounted the parapet of the trench and resumed his fire in order to further hold up the enemy. It was at this point that he was killed; Spall sacrificed his life in order to extricate his platoon from a difficult situation, and his bravery allowed his men to be saved.
Spall’s body sadly was not recovered after the battle, and he is commemorated on the impressive Vimy Memorial, France. His medals which are the VC, British War Medal 1914-20 and Victory Medal 1914-19 are held by the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Museum, Calgary, Alberta. In 2013, the Museum also purchased his Memorial Cross to be placed with his medals.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: PRINCESS PATRICIA’S CANADIAN LI MUSEUM, CALGARY, CANADA.
BURIAL PLACE: NO KNOWN GRAVE – ON VIMY MEMORIAL, FRANCE.
Phil Portwood – Image of the Spall VC Stone in Ealing, London.