The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. D R Briggs
Dennis Rushworth Briggs, from Bradford, Yorkshire was born on 23rd March 1916, the son of Gerald Rushworth Briggs (1886-1966) and Laura Briggs (nee Dennis 1889-??).
Someone of this name served as PC 125206 in the Metropolitan Police from 24th August 1936 to 20th November 1938, assigned to X Division.
Briggs joined the RAF in August 1938 as an Airman u/t Observer. After completing his training he joined 236 Squadron on July 24th 1940.
He had married Mary Hemingway in October 1939 in Middlesex.
He failed to return from a reconnaissance sortie over Brest on December 21st 1940 in Blenheim IV R3878. The crew of S/Ldr. GW Montagu (pilot), P/O GH Hannan (Gunner) and Briggs were all killed.
The Blenheim came down by the mill at Pont-Ours (Bear Bridge) in the commune of Plouguin in Brittany, the mill was owned by Jean Tromelin (1896-1982).
The Germans took no action over the crash and it was left to M. Tomelin to recover the bodies and bury them at the site. Later a religious service was held, attended by Luftwaffe personnel and about 1500 locals.
The graves were covered in flowers in season until 1948 when they were relocated to Bayeux cemetery.
Jean Tomelin Snr. was heavily involved with the Resistance, for which he was decorated postwar, and sheltered several Allied airmen, including Battle of Britain veteran P/O Peter William Lefevre. LeFevre was passed along the escape lines in July 1943 to Gibraltar and may have been accompanied by Jean Tomelin Jnr. who arrived in England about this time and enlisted in the Free French Air Force.
He brought with him some photographs of the graves which were passed on to the next-of-kin (below).