Sgt A F Jaggers

Alexander Frederick Jaggers was born in 1920 to Frederick William Jagger and Annie Matilda Walker in Clapton, East London.  The story of what happened to both he and his aircraft is sadly familiar to many of those in Bomber Command in WWII.

Serving in 102 Squadron at RAF Topcliffe, P/O Jaggers was a Wireless Operator and Air Gunner on Whitley’s along with his crew, he took off on 3rd September 1941 for a night raid on Frankfurt.

Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Z6946 took off at 20:56 from RAF Topcliffe, North Yorkshire on the 3rd September 1941 bound for Frankfurt, Germany. On the return journey from the bombing operation, the aircraft caught electric cables and crashed at 03:55 into two houses in Rectory Lane, Kirton, Suffolk bringing down the overhead cables and fracturing a water main. The aircraft bounced off of ‘June Cottage’ (slightly injuring a 4 year old girl), and the ‘The Haven’ and landed in the garden.

Pilot: F/S Seward Terry Modeland RCAF Aged 19
P/O Observer Jackson Corwin Nixon RCAF Aged 23
W/Op: Sgt Alexander Frederick Jaggers RAFVR Aged 21
P/O Sgt Donald Machell Bozer RCAF Aged 25
F/S Sgt Lawrence Milbert Brown
The Canadian crew members, Donald Boxer, Lawrence Bowen, Jackson Nixon and Seward Modeland were laid to rest at the field of Honour, Ipswich Old Cemetery. Alexander is laid to rest in Brookwood Military Cemetery
At St Mary & St Martin Church in Kirton, Suffolk five remembrance pews were installed to commemorate the crew members. They were designed by a Mr Allan Woolnough and were dedicated at a service on 4th June 1950 officiated by the Archdeadcon of Ipswich The Venerable T R Browne.
A local testimonial to the crash was published as follows:
The plane had been hit by enemy anti aircraft fire over occupied France when returning from its bombing raid on Frankfurt. The aircraft had been damaged and was not going to make it back to its base at Topcliffe, Yorkshire so was going to try and land at Martlesham. However, the crew were apparently told that they couldn’t land at Martelsham as there were already a number of damaged aircraft on the runway and they were instructed to ditch the aircraft at sea, so they turned to head back towards Bawdsey, when struggling to maintain height, they crashed at Kirton. Much of the debris of the aircraft was spread over quite a wide area from the damaged house in Rectory Lane and across the village green.
We spoke to the lady that lives in the house that now stands on the site of the crash who told us that when they were having a hedge removed in 1972 even then, parts of the aircraft and lots of bullets were uncovered. We were also told that some of of the relatives of the Canadian crew had visited the church in 1980 but no one knew exactly from which family.
A F Jaggers
Name: 927337 W/Op Air Gunner Alexander Frederick Jaggers
Died: 3rd September 1941
Grave: 25. B. 11.
Family: Son of Frederick William and Annie Matilda Jaggers. Brother of Evelyn

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