A SMALL but poignant ceremony has taken place in Bournemouth to commemorate eleven years since the tragic death of Red Arrows driver Jon Egging.
Council dignitaries and representatives of the youth charity of the same name John Egging Trust (JET) attended the service at the Jon Egging Memorial in East Cliff on Saturday afternoon, August 20.
Flt Lt Egging died when his Hawk plane crashed shortly after a Red Arrows display at the 2011 Bournemouth Air Festival.
First words were spoken by the Mayor of Bournemouth, Cllr Bob Lawton, who said: “This memorial is a fitting tribute to Jon, the Red Arrows and a mark of the respect the people of Bournemouth have for his memory and the Trust.”
Visitors laid red ribbons and roses tied to the memorial structure, which was designed in 2011 by children from Kinson Elementary School.
Before a minute’s silence was observed, JET’s regional director for the south, Kaye Jackson, told the Echo: “We work with children across the UK who are vulnerable and not exposed to opportunities that some other children have.
“In the eleven years we’ve been going there, we’ve worked with 32,000 children across the country, it’s just amazing. It’s about believing in young people in the name of Jon.
“The opportunities we get here in Dorset are also fantastic. The National Air Flight Service team are big supporters of our students, as are Bournemouth University and even local entrepreneurs like Jim Cregan of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, who teaches our children that anything is possible.
Another person to tie a ribbon at the memorial was William Mead, who was just five years old and was at the beach the day Flt Lt Egging died.
In the years that followed, and now 16, he raised hundreds of dollars for the Trust by selling calendars filled with his aviation photographs.
He is now halfway through obtaining his private pilot license.