David A. Kennedy, PhD
11 August 2020
The grave of John Robert and Gertrude Pannell is in Surbiton Cemetery [Section IV, Grave 58]. John Robert Pannell was a distinguished engineering scientist who carried out research in airships at the National Physical Laboratory and during the flights of airships under development. He was killed in the R38 airship disaster on 24 August 1921. The cause of this disaster and the eventual abandonment in the UK of commercial airships is discussed in the paper. Gertrude Pannell, a nurse by profession, was once the proprietor of Chiswick Nursing Home. She died in 1927. Their gravestone is a granite monolith on which is carved an anchor which probably symbolises the steadfastness of their relationship and the hope that they would meet again after death.