Battle of Britain London Monument – Sgt. J E Bignell

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – Sgt. J E Bignell


John Edward Bignell of Romford, Essex joined the RAF as an Aircrafthand in July 1938. He later remustered as an Air Gunner. With his training completed, he was serving with 25 Squadron at North Weald by 11th April 1940 and remained with them throughout the Battle.

Bignell was killed on 4th September 1941, serving with the Fighter Interception Unit at Ford as a Flight Sergeant.

On the night of 3rd/4th September 1941 he was aloft in Beaufighter IIf R2335. On returning to Ford it was discovered that the undercarriage would not lock in the lowered position. The decision was taken to shake the undercarriage down by performing aerobatics. However control was lost and the aircraft crashed into the bed of the disused Portsmouth to Arundel Canal near Woodgate in Sussex.

Unusually the aircraft carried three crew, possibly because an AI set was under test. P/O DM Lake and F/Sgt. FE Greaney were also killed.

Bignell is buried in Romford cemetery.




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