Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Monday, 3 September 2012

One of our Aircraft is Missing

This is a re-post on the anniversary of my original post for reasons which will become apparent.

"Then we that are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds"
1 Thessalonians 4:17

The Red Arows 2009 at the Radom Airshow Konflikty.pl via Wikimedia Commons
The news that the Red Arrows were flying again after the loss of Red 4, Flt Lt Jon Egging, two weeks earlier, has been met with joy tinged with sadness. There was relief that the Hawk T1 jets were cleared to fly once more, and that they could honour commitments to summer air shows; however, the team now have to fly with eight aircraft, instead of the more usual ‘diamond nine’. The pilots are always prepared to do this in case of sickness or aircraft problems, but for such a tight-knit team, it must have been particularly hard. At the Chatsworth House Country Fair, last week they produced spectacular coloured smoke trails and formed the shape of a heart, dedicating it to Jon Egging’s widow, Emma. For those who witnessed the display it would have been a bittersweet moment. Two teams lost members on that day; the Red Arrows lost a brave and selfless colleague, but Emma Egging lost her life partner. As an ex ‘R.A.F. wife’ I can appreciate the support and comradeship shown by the Red Arrows. I have seen them fly on many occasions and my children grew up to the sound of fast jets flying overhead. Friends and colleagues were lost during the Falklands War, but the experience made families draw closer. The RAF motto is ‘Per Ardua ad Astra’ - through adversity to the stars.

One of our Aircraft is Missing

The ‘diamond nine’ no longer,
weaving coloured trails, we eight
soar high over the Derwent Valley. 
We paint a smoke-heart on blue canvas,
honouring another team torn apart that day,
another perfect formation destroyed.

Red 4; pilot, colleague, husband, friend
Per Ardua Ad Astra 

© Marilyn Brindley

A year further on and the team are back again at the Bournemouth Air Show. My daughter witnessed some of the display from the Bournemouth seafront and sent me these pictures.


  1. Beautifully heartfelt post. Scarlett x

  2. A poignant poem, and a lovely piece reflecting the feelings of the bereaved Service wife, for whom the ever present, nagging, but faint possibility came true one Summer's day in the beauty of England, rather than in a war-ravaged foreign land. At least she had the comfort that her husband was helping to encourage young people to do something for their country.

  3. The Red Arrows appeared here in Eastbourne only a week before the accident that claimed the life of Flt Lt Egging. They fly here every year, so I've seen a lot of them. It's easy to appreciate the professionalism and technique that go into their displays; occasionally you're reminded of the danger as well.
    Lovely post, beautifully written as always.

  4. Many of the men in my family - Grandad, Uncles, Cousins, have been in the forces - some for a few years, some an entire career. There is always that niggle of worry that comes and goes. I really do feel for Mrs Egging and the other Red Arrow fliers.

    What a beautiful way to commemorate him,

    Jem xXx

  5. This is the first time I read about this. Forming the shape of a heart to console the widow is very moving.

  6. If people would only realize how close the aircraft of these pilots get and how much training is involved. Often it is a matter of inches. These guys are real pro's. But as in many other professions sometimes fatal accidents happen. And that is very regrettable not in the least for the people close to him. Therefore, I was very sorry to read this about Flt Lt Egging.