One of the first recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Corporal Edward Robert Pennell, from the Honourable Artillery Company, T.F., was promoted to temporary Second Lieutenant for duty with Royal Flying Corps on 5 August 1916. Appointed Flying Officer on 28 November 1916, he scored his first victory whilst serving with 27 Squadron in March 1917. Posted to 84 Squadron, Pennell was appointed Flight Commander on 1 September 1917 with the temporary rank of Captain. After scoring four more victories with the S.E.5a, he was hospitalized on 6 February 1918 and was transferred to the unemployed list on 17 January 1919.
In later life, Pennell was a very keen fisherman, property developer, restaurant owner, cinema owner (where he met his wife, Rene). He and his wife travelled the world together. Pennell rejoined the Royal Air Force in 1939/40.
1901 residence was Hare Hatch, Wargrave, Berkshire; his birth
was registered in the 3rd quarter of 1894 at West Ham, Essex.
"Captain Edward (Ted) Pennell — four times chairman of the old Clacton Urban Council — died at his home at 29 Palace Gardens on Saturday.
Capt. Pennell was chairman of the council from 1927 to '28, 1946 to '48 and from 1953 to '54. He also served as chairman on every council committee including 18 years on the sea defence committee and six years on the finance and general purposes committee.
Capt. Pennell joined the navy when he was 16. Later he joined the Honorary Artillery Company and when the first world war broke out he taught himself to fly and became a flight commander with the 27th Bomber Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps serving in France. He was awarded the DFC and the French equivalent of the Victoria Cross — the Croix de Guerre avec palm.
During the second world war he was a liaison officer with a flying school in America, and in 1945 was invalided from the RAF with a weak heart.
Capt. Pennell was a great sportsman, playing football for the town and was a life member of Clacton Golf Club. He also won a trophy for sculling in 1913.
He also led a full social life as well as a civic one. Apart from life membership of the Golf Club he was a life member of the Clacton Club, an honorary member of the RAFA Club and the Conservative Club.
Capt. Pennell leaves a widow, Mrs. Rene Pennell, and a married daughter, Pam, who lives in Wiltshire.
His funeral was yesterday at St. John's Church, Great Clacton. The service was conducted by the Rev. Watts and interment was at Colchester Crematorium."