Richard »Dick« John Beattie Seaman (1913-1939)
The Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix team were almost stranded in England when Great Britain declared war on Germany. Richard Seaman , the English born Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix team driver had to reassure his fellow drivers over dinner that all would be well if they could not make it back to Germany, he reassured them:
»If it [the war] starts, and you are still here, you won't have such a bad time. We are sportsmen.«
Seaman, driving for Mercedes-Benz, was killed at Spa after rolling his W-154, and becoming trapped in the cockpit as it caught fire. Mercedes-Benz motor-racing supremo Alfred Neubauer visited Seaman in hospital during the night after Seaman regained consciousness, briefly, and managed to converse with him. As Neubauer watched him slip back into unconsciousness he heard Seaman's lungs start to rattle, and having attended the bedside of many injured drivers, he knew Seaman would be dead by morning. Mirroring symbolically the disintegration of Anglo-German relations, Seaman left a young widow: He had married Erica Popp, the daughter of the chief and co-founder of BMW. Seaman was buried at Putney Vale Cemetery in London, his funeral attended by his comrades from Grand Prix racing. Mercedes-Benz dealers world-wide were ordered to display his photograph in their windows. To this day, Mercedes-Benz maintain his grave. I have witnessed this personally - I am not repeating second hand information.
Richard Seaman , racing driver. Note in the portrait photograph he is wearing Luftwaffe pattern goggles.
In beloved memory of
William John Beattie Seaman
died 3rd February 1935 aged 45 years
They miss him most who loved him best
Also in loving memory of
Richard John Beattie Seaman
only son of the above
who was killed in the Belgian Grand Prix Motor Race
"And at the going down of the sun and in the morning
My beloved son to you eternal peace and rest
The grave is on Boulter's Path. If you drive from the gates to the small church and crematorium at the end then reverse back to the last right hand path way,.turn down here and stop just at the end before the boundary track. On your right a couple of graves before the end is the grave of Richard Seaman.
The cemetery closes around 17:00HRS. To enter at night, park in the lay-by on the four-lane divided highway from London which is just at the start of the boundary wall of the cemetery. Walk back toward London and turn down a track through some woods which run along the eastern boundary wall of the cemetery. Most of the way down you can scale the wall next to a huge statue of an angel which stands over a gravestone. Procede around the boundary road of the cemetery until you reach Boulter's Path and the grave.
The GPS co-ordinates for the grave are 51 26 20.27 N 00 14 21.28 E. I recommend navigating by looking for the statue of the angel which you can see behind Seaman's grave in most of the photographs of his gravestone.
Grand Prix driver James Hunt was also cremated here at Crematorium. Polish actor Vladek Sheybal , who played "Kronstein" in From Russia with Love (1963) is also buried here.
+ SEE ALSO
- Drives in England
+ EXTERNAL LINKS
- Find a Grave
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