Grave of World War One Royal Flying Corps hero identified

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The Final resting place of Corporal (Cpl) Bertie Frederick George Jeffs of the Royal Flying Corps has been identified and rededicated.

Originally buried in an unmarked grave by the German forces over a century ago, the now identified remains of 21-year-old Corporal (Cpl) Bertie Frederick George Jeffs have today (Tuesday 28 September) been rededicated, marking the sacrifice he made for his country.

The rededication service was held at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Douchy-les-Ayettes Cemetery, on the Somme, in France, and was conducted by Reverend (Sqn Ldr) Kate Bruce Station Chaplain RAF Coningsby. It was attended by members of XI(F) Squadron RAF and organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC).

Following the service of Cpl Jeffs, Tracey Bowers, JCCC said: “Cpl Jeffs bravery should never be forgotten and to have members of XI(F) Sqn RAF here to honour him along with the researchers who worked so hard on the case has made today even more special.”

Cpl Jeffs was serving with 11 Squadron Royal Flying Corps as the Observer onboard a Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2b fighter aeroplane piloted by Sergeant Ernest Haxton. On the afternoon of October 10, 1916 at approximately 2.40pm, whilst on an offensive patrol, they were attacked by hostile forces north east of Bapaume and shot down. Both brave airmen were killed and lie next to each other in the cemetery.

Bertie Jeffs was born on July 15, 1895 in Headington, Oxfordshire to Francis Henry Jeffs and Amelia Elizabeth Jacobs.

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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.


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