Gordon Idris Eggleton was born on the Isle of Wight in 1919, the son of Claude and Frances (nee Hall).
When the war began the family were living at Abingdon Lodge in West Street, Ryde, and Gordon had been working at Wight Motors since leaving school. When the call came for persons to staff the newly formed Auxiliary Fire Service he was one of the first and youngest of the local volunteers to step forward.
At Christmas 1939 Fireman Eggleton joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and was mobilised to serve at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire where he achieved the status of Aircraftman 1st Class, service number 914938 with No. 58 Squadron. The 58's were to operate Halifax and Whitley aircraft as part of No. 4 Group RAF Bomber Command, their first mission over enemy territory was to drop thousands of not bombs but paper propaganda leaflets. The squadron briefly relocated to Boscombe Down as part of Coastal Command making home leave easier for Gordon, but returned to the North Yorkshire base in February 1940.
At 01:45 hours on 12 May 1941 three Luftwaffe dive-bombers carried out a brief but intense raid on the airfield on Linton-on-Ouse. One hangar took direct hits causing fires that took hold of two Halixfax bombers parked therein. Every member of the base was called to assist in the firefighting and it was during this period, utilising the skills he'd learned with Ryde's AFS, that Gordon was to be one of thirteen killed in action under further enemy bombing and strafing while fighting the fire.
His remains were returned to the Island and a service was conducted by Canon Moxon at All Saints Church on Saturday 17 May. Members of Ryde Fire Brigade carried the coffin between a guard of honour led by Chief Officer Max Heller and formed of men from both the regular brigade and the Auxiliary Fire Service; more than fifty in all.
In September 2014 at Linton-on-Ouse a commeration service was held and a memorial tablet dedicated to the men who died on that fateful night, Aircraftman Eggleton being among them.
Rest in peace Fireman/Aircraftman Eggleton.