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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J J Brimble


John Joseph Brimble, from Knowle, Bristol, was born on 25th November 1915, the son of William Henry Brimble (1870-1951) and Emily Annie Brimble (nee Rossiter 1876-1976).

He joined the RAFVR in May 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. He was called to full-time service on 1st September 1939 and posted, after training, to No 4 Ferry Pilot Pool on 16th May 1940.

He was then posted to 73 Squadron in France on 31st May.



Still serving with 73 Squadron, Brimble was shot down in combat over Tonbridge on 4th September 1940. His Hurricane P2542 came down at Parkhouse Farm, Chart Sutton near Maidstone. The aircraft was not identified at the time and partial remains were buried at Bell Road cemetery, Sittingbourne as an Unknown Airman.

Brimble was commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Postwar research led to the realisation that the remains were of Brimble and a named headstone was installed.

The crash site was excavated on 14th September 1980 and more substantial remains were found, still in the cockpit.

His parents had passed away by this time. His only living relative, his brother Donald William Brimble (who also served in the RAF in WW2), in consultation with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission decided that the original grave and remains should be left undisturbed.

The 1980 remains were buried with full military honours at Brookwood on 16th October 1980 with his brother present.


Above: the grave at Brookwood.



Above: the grave at Sittingbourne.

Image courtesy of Jamie Brown.



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