Shoreham air crash memorial service to remember 11 victims


A memorial service will be held today to remember the 11 men killed in the Shoreham air crash - exactly three months since the disaster.

Relatives of those who lost their lives when a vintage Hawker Hunter jet crashed on to the A27 in West Sussex will attend the invitation-only ceremony.

Hundreds of firefighters, police officers, paramedics and volunteers will also turn out for the service at Lancing College's Gothic chapel, overlooking the crash site.

The event has been organised by emergency service members and local community leaders, including East Worthing and Shoreham Conservative MP Tim Loughton.

The Bishop of Chichester, the Right Reverend Dr Martin Warner, will lead prayers at the service, which he has described as an "important moment" for those touched by the tragedy.

A minute's silence will be held at 1.22pm - the exact time of the crash on August 22 - before each family places a lit candle on the chapel's altar.

Mr Loughton has said he hoped the service would serve to support the victims' families, as well as the first responders on the scene, amid their "terrible loss".

Personal reflections will be read by Sussex Police Chief Constable Giles York, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Sean Ruth and Paul Sutton, chief executive of South East Coast Ambulance Service.

The crash happened when the 1950s jet failed to pull out of a loop-the-loop manoeuvre in front of a crowd of around 20,000 people during the Shoreham Airshow and plummeted on to the A27.

In the days that followed, thousands of flowers, cards, flags, pictures and messages of condolence were left on the Shoreham Tollbridge, which became known as the "Bridge of Flowers".

Those who died were: wedding chauffeur Maurice Abrahams, 76, from Brighton; retired engineer James Graham Mallinson, 72 and known as Graham, from Newick, near Lewes; window cleaner and general builder Mark Trussler, 54, from Worthing; cycling friends Dylan Archer, 42, from Brighton, and Richard Smith, 26, from Hove; NHS manager Tony Brightwell, 53, from Hove; grandfather Mark Reeves, 53, from Seaford; Worthing United footballers Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23; personal trainer Matt Jones, 24; and Daniele Polito, 23, from Worthing.

The jet's pilot, Andrew Hill, who survived the impact, has still not been questioned by police or investigators, a Sussex Police spokesman said on Friday.