Brave airman saved thousands of Uckfield lives

The area saved from the bomb
The area saved from the bomb
0
Have your say

A campaign is building to create a memorial to a brave airman whose suicidally dangerous mission saved the centre of Uckfield from certain destruction towards the end of World War II.

Former deputy mayor Duncan Bennett is rallying town support for the memorial to Pilot Officer Eugene George Achilles Seghers.

Duncan Bennett

Duncan Bennett

Eugene Seghers was an RAF Flight Lieutenant based at 91 Squadron HQ, the airfield at Deanland near Golden Cross, and he perished carrying out one of the most dangerous and potentially lethal airborne manoeuvres of the War.

On July 26, 1944 he was patrolling East Sussex when he spotted a VI rocket, known as a Doodlebug. The missile was set to plunge to the ground near Ridgewood. RAF pilots had learnt how to tip their wings beneath the wings of the Doodlebugs, diverting them off course but Pilot Officer Seghers misjudged his distance and struck the missile, causing it to explode and kill him outright.

After the war his remains were exhumed and repatriated to the Pelouse d’Honneur Cemetery in Brussels. He was awarded the DFC.

Roy Hussey, 80, from The Drive, saw the incident. He said: “I lived in Selby Road at the time. I was with friends in the garden. We looked up, saw the Spitfire try to get its wing under the wing of the Doodlebug, then they both exploded. The remains came down in Ridgewood, round where the Highlands is. We didn’t go over there - we didn’t really like to.”

Duncan Bennett said: “Hitler was throwing everything he could at England and Uckfield was in ‘Doodlebug alley’; while the Allies advanced into France, launch systems moved back but these rockets were still lethal weaponry and killed hundreds when they landed. The carnage in the London area was appalling.

“Pilot Officer Eugene Seghers saved hundreds of Uckfield families from almost certain death and I feel he deserves a permanent memorial, somewhere near where the missile would have landed....the New Road or Ridgewood area perhaps. It’s amazing that not very much is known about him.”

Duncan is now busy campaigning to raise awareness of PO Seghers’ achievement and support funding for a memorial. To show your appreciation for PO Segher’s sacrifice and get behind the campaign look up: Memorial to Pilot Officer Eugene Seghers DFC on Facebook or visit: https://www.facebook.com/search/421564381267684/members

A campaign is building to create a memorial to a brave airman whose suicidally dangerous mission saved the centre of Uckfield from certain destruction towards the end of World War II.

Former deputy mayor Duncan Bennett is rallying town support for the memorial to Pilot Officer Eugene George Achilles Seghers.

Eugene Seghers was an RAF Flight Lieutenant based at 91 Squadron HQ, the airfield at Deanland near Golden Cross, and he perished carrying out one of the most dangerous and lethal airborne manoeuvres of the War.

On July 26, 1944 he was patrolling over East Sussex when he spotted a VI rocket, known as a Doodlebug. The missile’s engine had cut and it was set to plunge to the ground near Ridgewood. RAF pilots had learnt how to tip their wings beneath the wings of the Doodlebugs, diverting them off course but Pilot Officer Seghers misjudged his distance and struck the missile, causing it to explode and kill him outright.

After the war his remains were exhumed and repatriated to the Pelouse d’Honneur Cemetery in Brussels. He was awarded the DFC.

Roy Hussey, 80 from The Drive saw the incident. He said: “I lived in Selby Road at the time. I was with friends in the garden. We looked up, saw the Spitfire try to get its wing under the wing of the Doodlebug, then they both exploded. The remains came down in Ridgewood, round where the Highlands is. We didn’t go over there - we didn’t really like to.”

Duncan Bennett said: “Hitler was throwing everything he could at England and Uckfield was in ‘Doodlebug alley;’ while the Allies advanced into France, launch systems moved back but these rockets were still lethal weaponry and killed hundreds when they landed. The carnage in the London area was appalling.

“Pilot Officer Eugene Seghers saved hundreds of Uckfield families from almost certain death and I feel he deserves a permanent memorial, somewhere near where the missile would have landed....the New Road or Ridgewood area perhaps. It’s amazing that not very much is known about him.”

Duncan is now busy campaigning to raise awareness of PO Seghers’ achievement and support funding for a memorial.

To show your appreciation for PO Segher’s sacrifice and get behind the campaign for a permanent memorial look up: Memorial to Pilot Officer Eugene Seghers DFC on Facebook or visit: www.facebook.com/groups/42156438126768