Lincolnshire

Memorial held for Red Arrows pilot Flt Lt Jon Egging

A memorial service has been held at Lincoln Cathedral for Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging.

Flt Lt Egging, 33, from Rutland, died when his Hawk T1 aircraft crashed into a field at the village of Throop, near Bournemouth Airport, on 20 August.

Almost 1,000 people gathered for the service, which his family said was a celebration of his life.

His widow, Dr Emma Egging, has set up the Jon Egging Trust in his memory to aid disadvantaged young people.

"It is about celebrating Jon, the person he was. It is also about having the memorial there for the wider community because the funeral was a private occasion," Dr Egging said.

"Having the service in Lincoln is of real importance to us because it means all those thousands of messages of support and all of those people who have been there for us can have this as a focus and hear about Jon.

"We can also continue to take on their support through the Jon Egging Trust."

"For him the Red Arrows epitomised the professionalism, the commitment and the public face of the RAF, which Jon was determined to represent in the best way he could," Dr Egging added.

Image caption Flt Lt Jon Egging's widow Dr Emma Egging said the memorial was a celebration of his life

Flt Lt Egging, who was originally from Southam in Warwickshire, but lived in Morcott near Uppingham in Rutland, was buried at a private service in September.

The Red Arrows, who have flown in a "missing man" formation in displays since the crash, performed a flypast over the cathedral.

Family and friends of the pilot attended the service. Guests also included Queen guitarist Brian May and Carol Vorderman, who have flown with the Red Arrows.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton paid tribute to the talented pilot who had served in Afghanistan before joining the Red Arrows.

"Jon personified the motto of the Red Arrows - success, excellence and brilliance," he said.

Speaking after the service, Flt Lt Egging's best friend James Godley said he would remember him for his "enthusiasm for life" and his "infectious smile".

"He trained hard and was very professional at what he did and took it very seriously," he said.

"He was a team player, had a boundless enthusiasm for life and a constant smile. That's how I'll remember Jon."

An inquiry into Flt Lt Egging's death has been ordered and the crash is being investigated by the Military Aviation Authority.

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