Henry Seheult


William Robinson Clarke

‘Successful RAF career and loving father’

1926 - 1964

Share this:

With roots in France, the Seheult family moved to Trinidad in the 19th century and went on to own the Santa Rosa sugar plantation in Arima. Henry Philip Seheult was born in San Juan, Barataria, Trinidad on October 8, 1926, the result of his 16-year- old father Errol’s affair with one of the family’s maids. Henry’s mother died shortly after his birth and he was brought up along with the six children Errol later had with his eventual wife, Laura Laltoo.

Although Laura was kind towards Henry, he felt he was given fewer opportunities than his half-siblings, especially when it came to education. When he was barely 18, he joined the RAF in 1944, vowing to work and study hard to make up for lost time.

Having initially signed up for three years, he continually extended his period of service, forging a successful career that was tragically cut short by his death from lung cancer at the age of 37.

It was his RAF service that saw him board the Empire Windrush following a brief period of leave in Trinidad. Just a few weeks after his return to England, Henry married London-born Ruby Miell. At the time, he was working as an accountant at RAF Compton Bassett in Wiltshire.

At a later posting in RAF Croft in County Durham, Henry met Patricia Phillips, who became pregnant with his child. Henry felt the honorable thing to do was divorce Ruby and marry Patricia, which he did in July 1952. The couple remained together until Henry’s death.

Shortly after their daughter Zara Ann was born in 1953, Henry was posted to Habbaniya in Iraq, where the family spent two years.

Two more daughters followed, Keren Lesley in 1956 and Tracy in 1959. (Sadly, Tracy died in 1989). On their return to the UK, the family was based at RAF Cottesmore.

In a letter to one of his half-brothers, Lincoln, Henry described a day in his life at Cottesmore. Commencing duties at 8 am, he worked until 5.30 pm when he had a hurried tea before dashing to the base’s Astra Cinema where he was manager. It was 10 pm before he returned home for supper and some sleep.

An exemplary serviceman, Henry had reached the rank of flight sergeant by the time he died on May 12, 1964. He was buried at the RAF Cottesmore Cemetery with full military honours. He is remembered fondly as a loving family man and true gent who always lived life to the full.

Share this: