The Legion Honours 101-Year-Old World Record Skydiver

D-Day veteran Verdun Hayes given Gurkha ‘Guard of Honour’ and presented with his Guinness World Records certificate at surprise event

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    Somerset Legion House, Weston-super-Mare

The world’s oldest tandem skydiver was today presented with his official Guinness World Records certificate by The Royal British Legion.

Verdun Hayes, a 101-year-old D-Day veteran from North Devon smashed the world record on 14 May 2017 when he skydived from a height of 15,000ft.

The presentation took place at the Legion’s Somerset Legion House break centre in Weston-super-Mare where dozens of members of the 10 The Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment are currently enjoying a ‘Poppy Break’

Verdun was invited for a tour of the break centre to show him where some of the £3,600 he raised for the Legion is spent.

And as a special treat for the great grandfather, the Legion and regiment arranged for a prestigious ‘guard of honour’ to welcome him on his arrival.

After being presented with his Guinness World Records certificate by Claire Rowcliffe, Director of Fundraising at The Royal British Legion, Verdun said: "What a wonderful surprise. I was shocked when I saw all those people waiting for me.

"It was a pleasure to raise money for the Legion as the charity is very close to my heart. I just hope my efforts help to shed some light on all the amazing work that the charity does throughout the year." Verdun Hayes

Claire Rowcliffe, who is also an Army veteran having served with The Royal Military Police, said: “It is an absolute privilege to not only meet Verdun, but also to present him with his Guinness World Records certificate.

"Verdun is a quite remarkable man, and he’s been something of an inspiration to members of the 10 The Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment and their families who have met him today during their Poppy Break.

"In meeting the younger serving generation and their families, and taking a tour of Somerset Legion House, Verdun has seen how the Legion provides supports all members of the British Armed Forces past and present, and their families. We are extremely thankful to him for his incredible fundraising effort."

Jacqui Ibbetson, Manager of Somerset Legion House, said: "Our staff and guests have loved chatting to Verdun about his experiences – not least his skydive!

"He’s also found it fascinating to learn where some of the money he has raised for the Legion is spent – in this case helping to give servicemen and women and their families, time away for a seaside break."

Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief of Guinness World Records Ltd, said: "At Guinness World Records we are lucky enough to see some amazing feats all around the world and this record is no exception.

"Verdun’s enthusiasm for life is inspiring and something many of us can learn from. His parachute jump reminds us that record breaking is something that anyone can put their mind to and we are pleased to welcome him into the Guinness World Records family."

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