Copneigh, James

Personal Information

Rank AC1
Forname(s) James
Surname Copneigh
Gender M
Date of Death 05-08-1941
Next of Kin

Aircraft Information

Serial Number

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country United Kingdom
Burial/Memorial Place South Ealing Cemetery
Grave Reference Sec. E.E. Row L. Grave 15.

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 2
Panel Number 148

Enlistment Information

Service Number 1356487
Service Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Group 2
Squadron Oakington
Trade (Uncertain)
Country of Origin United Kingdom

Miscellaneous Information

Fulham Chronicle of October 24th 1941: Bound Over for Bigamy. Reference to a marriage at Fulham register office was made at Cambridge Assizes yesterday during the trial of a woman for bigamy. In the dock was Jean Ann Maurice...indicted for bigamously marrying Aircraftman James Copneigh, of Lammas Road, Ealing. Witness cried bitterly when reference was made to Aircraftman Copneigh, who had committed suicide by taking an overdose of aspirin. When prisoner was 17...she had a baby. The man who became her husband...took pity on her and married her at Fulham register office in June, 1935. From the start the marriage was a failure. After attempting to live together several times prisoner and her husband parted in 1938. [After] she met Copneigh...they became fond of each other, and when Copneigh joined the Air Force he persuaded prisoner to go and live near him. They eventually went through a form of marriage at Cambridge in April. The bigamy came to light when prisoner wanted a new ration card and the police inspected her identity card. She then made a clean breast of matters and stated the reason she committed bigamy was that she met someone who told her legal husband had been killed in an air raid. He was, in fact, an air raid warden. "I am very suspicious, she is not so innocent," the judge said. "In other words, I am doubtful she ever believed her husband was dead."

Last Operation Information

Start Date -
End Date -
Takeoff Station
Day/Night Raid
Reason for Loss Nottingham Evening Post of August 8th 1941: R.A.F. MAN'S SUICIDE Girl Who "Did Not Know Meaning of Love". Depressed because the girl with whom he had gone through a form of marriage would have nothing more to do with him, A.C.1 James Copneigh, 30, of the R.A.F., of Lammas Road, Ealing, committed suicide by taking an overdose of aspirin. At the inquest at Cambridge today, when a verdict to this effect was returned, a letter addressed to the girl by Copneigh, which was read, referred to his decision to take his life, "all because of a worthless girl who did not know the meaning of love and loyalty."

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Casualty Pack

IBCC is delighted to introduce a unique facility to link the Losses Database to the relevant RAF Casualty Pack on the National Archives website. This project is the result of on-going collaboration between IBCC, the MOD Records Office and National Archives, Kew. This document describes what Casualty Packs are, when they were created, the process of making them available to the public and then goes on to describe the process by which you can view the contents of the packs. Casualty Packs (CPs) were created by the RAF whenever there was serious injury or loss of life associated with operational activity within the RAF. This includes operational flying losses, enemy action due to air raids, road accidents either on station or even off-station if they involved RAF vehicles. Deaths due to natural causes in service or accidents that did not involve RAF vehicles did not generally give rise to a CP.

CPs were originally given a unique reference number by the RAF. Each begins with the letter ‘P’ and is followed by six digits, then an oblique (forward slash) and the finally the year in which the incident took place- for example P396154/42.

The CPs are in the process of being made available to the general public as they are passed from the MOD Records Office, Portsmouth to National Archives, Kew. This process requires some rework to the files which is very time consuming, so the process of making them all available to National Archives will take several years. They are being made available in increasing date order.

Once CPs arrive at National Archives they are assigned a unique AIR81 number, so each CP has both a P-number and an AIR81 number. Both are searchable on the National Archives website under ‘Search the catalogue’ and both are included on the IBCC website.

The AIR81 reference on the IBCC website is a link to the file on the National Archives website. When you click on it, the relevant page will open in a new tab on your browser.

There is currently no plan to digitise AIR81 files, partly because they are fragile and partly because the information they contain can at times be sensitive, even harrowing, since they may contain exhumation reports and even photographs of corpses. Family members wishing to read the AIR81 files relating to their ancestors are advised to exercise caution and be guided by National Archives warnings where appropriate.

There are two means for accessing AIR81 files- to attend in person or to order a copy by post.

To attend in person, the attendee should first create a Reader’s Ticket. This can be done online by following this link: Then click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and click Order in Advance. Enter your Reader’s Ticket number and state the date on which you intend to visit. National Archives will have the file ready for you when you arrive, saving you time. When you visit Kew, you must quote the Reader’s Ticket number and take along two forms of ID- one bearing your signature and one bearing your address. When you view the files, you are permitted to take photographs of each page, should you wish.

Alternatively, if you wish to order a copy by post, please be aware that there is a charge for this service based on the number of pages in the file. Click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and then click Request a Copy. There is an £8.40 charge for National Archives staff to access the file and give you a quotation for the copying service. The process takes around 24 days to complete and can be expensive.

IBCC wishes to thank the staff at the MOD Records Office and National Archives for their engagement and assistance in making this facility available to our website users.