Personnel Index - Detail

First Names
Pilot Officer
Service Number
Crew Position
Air Gunner
PoW Date
Hampden P4305
PoW Camp(s)
Stalags Luft 1 , Luft 3
PoW Number


This may be the face of P/O Reavell-Carter as shown on the TV programme "Trading History"

Courtesy of Adrian Goodman we have a confirmed, pipe smoking, picture of Laurence Reavell-Carter taken in around 1957


The momentous events in the skies over Kent marked 26th June 1940 as the day that the 'Battle of Britain' began. Many of the bomber crews up in the north eastern counties, were unaware of happenings in the south, or its significance, for them it was 'ops again tonight' as usual. Orders came through from Group by 15.00hrs; 8 aircraft required for bombing and a further 7 for minelaying. The bombers’ targets consisted of Marshalling yards, trains, aerodromes and canal barges. Take-off began at 21.00hrs with 2 aircraft departing every 5 minutes. The minelayers were to operate in the Kiel area, and it was over the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal that F/Lt Mitchell's P4305, sustained flak damage, which brought the Hampden down. F/Lt Mitchell and air gunner, P/O Reavell-Carter survived to become POW's. The remaining two crew members, Sgt's Bill Spickett and Ron Dutton, were sadly both killed; they are buried in Kiel War Cemetery.

P/O Reavell-Carter took part in the famous 'Great Escape' from Stalag Luft III at Sagan. He was actually caught at the exit from the tunnel and put back inside the camp. Perhaps this helped save his life, for had he been re-taken at large, he would most probably have been one of the fifty who were murdered by the Germans after being recaptured.

Hampden P4305
F/L B.A. Mitchell Pilot (P.o.W.)
P/O L. Reavell-Carter (P.o.W.)
Sgt R.L.J. Dutton W/OP (Killed)
Sgt W.A. Spickett (Killed)

From "British Military Lists.....National Library of Scotland"

49Sqn were send (anonymously) two pages of a document which describes in very great detail the loss of this aircraft.

Click this link to view in a new window

In 2016, a TV series "Trading History" told the story of a Rolex watch owned by P/O Reavell-Carter.

Click this link for a newspaper article (opens in a new window)

Information gathered states that:
Laurence Reavell-Carter OBE (27 August 1914 – 4 October 1985) was an English discus thrower. He was born in Brentford. He competed at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin (where he won the Silver medal) and at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.
Reavell-Carter survived as a prisoner and, after the war, continued his service with the RAF.
He received a military OBE in 1946 for his selfless action during the escape and retired with the rank of Wing Commander.


An image from a 1949 edition of "The Tatler" - a society magazine
Click this link to view/download the whole page (in a new window)

Magazine extract via Ashley Hales.

Posted out - Hastings, East Sussex, in 1985, aged 71.