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A memorial service is taking place this weekend to celebrate the life of former Cavendish School teacher Terry Wisson who died in France earlier this year.

Mr Wisson’s family are hosting the service on Sunday October 20 at 3.30pm at St John’s Church, Polegate.

His wife Lesley said it would be a celebration of his life and asked people not to wear black.

People are also being invited to an event afterwards at the Red Lion at Stone Cross, which stepped in to offer a venue after an original plan to hold it at the Old Polegate Railway Station had to be changed after a blaze virtually destroyed the hostelry.

The service will be conducted by Reverend Alan Packard, who conducted the funeral of Mr and Mrs Wisson’s son Ben, who died in a car accident in December 2008 aged just 23.

Mr Wisson, 65, had been living in Carcasonne in south west France with Lesley, also a former teacher, since 2008.

He had undergone an operation to remove a bowel obstruction on June 21 in France but surgeons discovered peritonitis and perforated intestines and he died without regaining consciousness two days later.

He leaves his wife Lesley, daughters Collette and Hannah and son Daniel, and his 87-year-old mother Hilda.

As a young man Mr Wisson’s first teaching post was in his home town of Bedford but he moved to Eastbourne to take up a position of head of maths at Cavendish Secondary Modern School in September 1975, when it was in Melbourne Road and where he met Lesley.

He continued teaching at Cavendish until he retired in 2003.

Mrs Wisson taught English and media studies at Ratton.

Mr Wisson was cremated in France and his ashes interned in Bedford but his family always wanted to mark his passing with a service in Polegate, where he and his family lived before the move to France.

Mrs Wisson, who is staying with family in Bexhill during her trip back to the UK, said, “I would like to invite anyone who knew Terry to come along and we are also hoping to have a book of remembrance for people to sign.

“It will be nice to see some old faces.”