Flt Lt Eugene Seghers - the forgotten Uckfield wartime hero who is now set to be commemorated in the town. Photo: from the Facebook page Memorial to Pilot Office Eugene Seghers DFC

Help remember Uckfield’s forgotten hero, Eugene Seghers

Forgotten Uckfield wartime hero Eugene Seghers is set to be properly honoured this summer on the 70th anniversary of his death.

Seghers, a Belgian pilot with the RAF, died tackling a German doodlebug (V1) near Ridgewood as it was about to drop on to the town. The flying bomb blew up taking it with it Flt Lt Seghers and his Spitfire.

Framfield Road resident Duncan Bennett has spearheaded a campaign to get the brave pilot properly commemorated in the town.

Finishing touches are now being put to plans for a memorial within a quiet part of the grounds of the Highlands Inn.

Money is still needed to pay for the memorial – details at the end of this story.

Mr Bennett, writing on Facebook, said: “The final drawings for the memorial to Flt Lt Eugene Seghers DFC are about to be issued for construction and the stone is on order and will soon be inscribed ready for installation.

Belgian air force and RAF to be represented

“Plans for the memorial dedication ceremony are also starting to come together.

“Uckfield Concert Brass will be providing the main musical accompaniment, with additional input from a very good trio of piano, clarinet and violin.

“The Belgian Air Force are to send a special delegation and the RAF shall be attending with officers of equivalent rank.

Other dignitaries and special guests will be invited soon.”

He said the Air Training Corps would be present, joined by veterans from the Royal Air Forces Association and Royal British Legion.

Chance to see what Uckfield was like in 1944

The service will be led by Rev Sqn Ldr Phil Corrigan, the Padre from RAF Northolt.

Providing historical colour on the day shall be the 212 Squadon Living History Group, whose re-enactors will give visitors an insight into how the World War 2 RAF would have looked.

Also attending will be the 23rd Sussex Home Guard re-enactment group, portraying the local men who would have been called out to assist with the aftermath of the incident.

There will also be a rare opportunity to view some of the extremely interesting items of World War 2 RAF equipment and ephemera from the private collection of Adrian Kilby.

Mr Bennett added: “Finally (and still subject to confirmation) it is possible that we will be treated to a low fly-past from the Belgian Air Component’s mighty F-16 Fighting Falcon Jet fighters.

The event ceremony will be on July 26.

“I hope that as many people as possible will attend this event to commemorate the bravery of a courageous airman who selflessly gave his life for Uckfield exactly 70 years before,” Mr Bennett said.

Click on the graphic below to enlarge. You will be able to see how to make a donation.

Seghers memorial thermometer

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See also:

Cash needed to complete memorial - this story has links to the amazing Eugene Seghers’ story which has come to light in the last 12 months.

More Uckfield history here

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