Sgt Horace Francis Gigney (1919-1941) see also family grave page

Horace was the son of Horace and Mabel Gigney. He was born and grew up in Cambridge. Horace joined the RAF in 1939 and in November 1940, after pilot training, was posted to 25 Squadron RAF, number 12 Group, Royal Air Force Reserve.  He was a sergeant pilot flying Blenheim fighter/bomber aircraft from RAF Wittering, near Peterborough.

On the night of 5 June 1941 Horace shot down a German bomber over the Wash, just 9 days before his death.  The bomber was apparently flying west to bomb Birmingham.  Sadly most of the crew bailed out over the sea and drowned.  The pilot belly landed the aircraft in South Reston in Lincolnshire narrowly missing the village pond.* He survived and was presumably taken prisoner. So it seems that Sergeant Gigney was something of a war hero.

*”Gunther TRUKENBRODT Oberleutnant (Flying Officer) Died 5 June 41. Aged 22
Horst WALTHER Unteroffizier (Cpl) Died 5 June 41. Aged 23
Paul WEBER Unteroffizier (Cpl) Died 5 June 41. Aged 23
All were crew members of Heinkel He 111H-5 (werk nummer 3793, coded 5J+FS) of 8/KG4. The aircraft, based at Leeuwarden in Holland, was attacked and damaged over the Wash in the early hours of 5 Jun 1941, by Beaufighter R2157 of No 25 Sqn RAF (Sgts. H.Gigney and G. Charnock). Four crew members including Unteroffizier Weber, Unteroffizier Walther and Oberleutnant Trukenbrodt baled out over the Sea and were drowned. 
The date on Paul Webers’ headstone, 6 June 1941, and that on Gunther Trukenbrodts’ headstone, 3 July 1941, are assumed to be those on which their bodies recovered from the sea. Weber was buried on 13 June 1941 and Trukenbrodt was buried on 7July 1941. 
Horst Walthers’ body was apparently recovered on 6 June 1941, according to the date on the headstone, but not buried until 4 July 1941 (Could the headstone date be in error?) The body of Fw Heuser, the 4th crew member to bail out was never recovered.
Their damaged aircraft was successfully belly-landed by its pilot (Oberlt.H. Pass) at South Reston, Alford, Lincs, at 02.00hrs, just missing a pond near the village in the process.” taken from an online forum.

Horace died when the Bristol Blenheim aircraft he was flying solo from RAF Wittering (Cambs) crashed on 14 June 1941 at nearby Barnack on a training flight.[If you have any information about this person, please contact us at]


No Place for Chivalry By Alastair Goodrum (book about RAF night fighters in the East of England in WW2)

Parish Records

With thanks to David Thrower for information supplied.

Horace Francis Henry Gigney