The Airmen's Stories - P/O C R Bonseigneur
Camille Robespierre Bonseigneur was born in Gull Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada on 27th May 1918, the son of Camille Robespierre Bon Seigneur (1889-1918) and Irene Bon Seigneur (nee Laberge 1897-1986).
(Both spellings are used).
His father, a doctor, died in the Spanish flu pandemic and his mother Irene married Matt Craigen.
Bonseigneur was educated at schools in Regina, after leaving he worked for a car dealership before joining the Canadian Corps of Signallers. He was discharged by purchase on 13th June 1939 in order to apply to join the RAF.
He was interviewed by the RAF in Canada, accepted for a short service commission and in October 1939 worked his passage to England on a cattle boat.
Bonseigneur was sent for training and then on completion was posted to 257 Squadron at its reformation at Hendon on 17th May 1940.
He shared in the destruction of a Do17 shot down into the sea off Brighton on 19th July. Shot down in combat with Me109s over Essex on 3rd September 1940, Bonseigneur baled out but fell dead at The Grove, Ingatestone.
His Hurricane, P3518, crashed at Lodge Farm, Galleywood, Essex.
Bonseigneur was 22. He is buried in Saffron Walden Cemetery, Essex.
Bonseigneur is commemorated in Saskatchewan in Lac la Ronge Provincial Park, where Bonseigneur Lake is located.
Additional research courtesy of the Essex Historic Aircraft Collection.