War hero to parachute into Arnhem a second time – this time at the age of 95
A 95-YEAR-OLD veteran is to recreate the parachute jump he made in 1944 during the Second World War.
John Jeffries has not jumped out of a plane for more than 70 years but the plucky hero has decided to do it again.
And this time when he parachutes into Arnhem in the Netherlands on September 15 he won’t be shot at, unlike the last time.
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Mr Jeffries, from Richmond in North Yorkshire, was in the Royal Corps of Signals in the war and parachuted in as part of Operation Market Garden, intended to secure bridges.
The events are depicted in the 1977 film A Bridge Too Far.
On his descent he was shot at and became a prisoner of war until he was later freed by US forces.
Mr Jeffries is doing the jump with a club in Arnhem.
He said: “I go each year to share my experiences with schoolchildren and to take part in the commemorations, so it seemed logical to make the jump again.
“It’ll be nice being able to jump again at Arnhem but this time without being shot at.”
Mr Jeffries’s leap will be one of two jumps in a week.
The first on September 8 will be for the Northumbria Blood Bikes charity, which delivers blood.
He will do a tandem jump with the Red Devils, the Parachute Regiment’s display team, in an event at Peterlee, Co Durham.
The former art teacher added: “It has been 74 years since my last parachute drop but I am coming out of retirement for the Blood Bikers and I can’t wait.”
His daughter Lynn Tomkinson said: “After jumping out of a plane at 95, we never know what dad will do next.” – Express