A green space in Eastbourne, which homes trees and plaques honouring one of the town’s most loved former residents, Henry Allingham, has been declared a Centenary Field.
A dedication event has been held at Redoubt Gardens to mark it becoming a protected site in memory of those who lost their lives during World War 1. The Centenary Field programme is run and organised by the charity Fields in Trust in partnership with The Royal British Legion.
As well as honouring Henry Allingham, Redoubt Gardens also remembers all Eastbourne residents who lost their lives during the conflict of 1914-18.
Henry Allingham was the oldest man in the world at the time of his death in 2009, aged 113 and 42 days. He was also the last founder member of the RAF and the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland. Henry had moved to Eastbourne in 1960 and was awarded the Freedom of the Borough in 2006, a month before he moved to St Dunstan’s owing to his failing eye sight. He famously put his long life down to “cigarettes, whisky and wild, wild women”.
Cllr Steve Wallis, Portfolio holder for the Borough parks & gardens, said, “Centenary Fields is a wonderful scheme and I am absolutely delighted the Redoubt Gardens have been dedicated in this way, ensuring their preservation in perpetuity.
“We must never forget the ultimate sacrifice of so many during World War I and I know Henry Allingham felt exactly the same way. He would certainly approve of this commemoration.”