A WREATH was laid at the Jon Egging Memorial this afternoon, two years to the day after his death.

Flt Lt Egging, 33, was killed after his Hawk T1 aircraft crashed in a field near Throop Mill following a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival in 2011.

The memorial, located on East Overcliff Drive, was opened to the public on August 29 last year to serve as a permanent location for anyone who wishes to pay their respects to the Red Arrows pilot.

Bournemouth mayor Councillor Rod Cooper and leader of the council, Cllr John Beesley, visited the site to lay flowers.

The mayor said: “It’s very important for us to remember what happened, but it’s also nice to come here and think of his widow, Dr Emma Egging. “It’s wonderful to be here on this beautiful day. The children who designed this memorial must be very proud indeed.”

The five-metre high sculpture is accompanied by a plaque which reads: “Always follow your dreams. Blue skies.”

Cllr Cooper said: “The air festival is part of Bournemouth and now Jon Egging is part of Bournemouth too. “I think the town will always remember what happened on this day two years ago.”

Cllr Beesley said Bournemouth and the Red Arrows have always had a “special relationship”.

“It is probably unique,” he said. “You can never get complacent about watching the display. It’s always fresh and exciting and it always makes you feel so proud to be British.”

This year’s Bournemouth Air Festival will take place from August 29 to September 1. “Everything we at the council have done since Flt Lt Egging’s tragic death has been guided by his widow and his mother, but I would hope that we will always mark the anniversary of his death in some way as long as it was felt to be appropriate,”

Cllr Beesley said. “We are very proud of our connection with the Red Arrows and it’s so important to pay our respects.”