An aviation lover, who is an administrator on an aviation Facebook group and often visits war memorials and pilot graves for research, was shocked to see children defacing a memorial in Uckfield.
The memorial is to Spitfire pilot Flt Lt Eugene Seghers who died when a V1 flying bomb blew up as he steered it away from crashing on the town.
It was unveiled in the grounds of the Highlands Inn pub in 2014.
Neil Quinn writes: “I decided to visit the lovely memorial in the garden of the Highlands Inn near Uckfield for the first time, on Saturday, March 4, 2017.
“I have wanted to see this for a while now but as I walked towards the memorial in the garden of the pub I could hear some kids, then saw them throwing bits of bricks and big round stones full pelt at the memorial!
“The oldest boy was scraping the polished Spitfire with a sharp stone gouging big grooves in it. The three kids were about ten, eight and seven.
“Now I know these kids did not know what they were doing was wrong, BUT their parents did! They were sitting in the window of the pub watching them do it.
“I was fuming but, of course, said nothing to the youngsters. I said to my partner I am going in to speak to the parents but she said no you can’t, just leave it, they will not care. By the way they let these young kids run riot outside on their own speaks volumes.
“People these days still surprise me how stupid they are. This is a wealthy area, the kids were well dressed and all the cars outside were nearly new, this is not some run down pub in a rough area, not that it should matter of course, but it really bothered me.
“There is damage to some brickwork and the chrome Aircraft on it. The PARENTS are totally out of order, for letting them do it.
“Pilot Officer Eugene George Achilles Seghers was blown up trying to tip a flying bomb away from Uckfield, giving his own life so that one day, someone may live who has a child, whose desendents could go and deface his memorial. Sorry but it is a very sad society we live in today.”
Highlands Inn director Ian Ridley told Uckfield News: “As responsible owners of The Highlands we are equally disgusted to learn that a wartime hero’s memorial has been desecrated by young vandals, allegedly in full sight of their parents.
“Had the complainant remonstrated with the children at the time, or brought the incident to the attention of any member of staff, the damage would not have been as extensive as he suggests and we could have taken the appropriate action against the culprits.”
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