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D-Day veteran completes first high-level skydive since Normandy in June 1944

UK News | Published: | Last Updated:

Harry Read is raising money for the Salvation Army’s anti-trafficking and modern slavery work in the UK.

A D-Day veteran has taken part in his first high-level skydive since he parachuted into Normandy 74 years ago.

Harry Read, 94, jumped 10,000 feet after taking to the skies from Old Sarum airfield in Salisbury, Wiltshire, on Friday.

To avoid attack during war time, parachuting would take place as close to the ground as possible.

94-year-old D-Day veteran fundraising skydive
Harry Read is congratulated as he lands safely (Ben Birchall/PA)

“It was a very different experience to the one I just had.

“This was my first high-level skydive and whilst I was a little nervous I have always enjoyed the thrill of parachuting.

94-year-old D-Day veteran fundraising skydive
Harry Read is helped to walk back from the landing zone (Ben Birchall/PA)

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“I feel so lucky to have been able to experience this at my age.

“Before I could take part in the jump my doctor assured me my heart is as healthy as a middle aged man.”

Mr Read had previously seen other veterans taking part in skydives.

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He decided to complete one himself after visiting the Normandy battlefields on an anniversary tour earlier this year.

94-year-old D-Day veteran fundraising skydive
Harry Read descends under his parachute (Ben Birchall/PA)

Mr Read is a life-long member of the Salvation Army and undertook the jump to raise money for the charity’s anti-trafficking and modern slavery work in the UK.

He has raised more than £4,000 so far and plans to jump again next year in Normandy, to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

“At whatever age we are, we are more than capable of shrinking from something that we feel is beyond us,” Mr Read said.

“But, I believe we should not withdraw from a challenge – yesterday is not our best, our best is tomorrow.”

In 2016, Mr Read was awarded France’s highest honour, the Chevalier, by order of the Legion d’Honneur for the role he played in June 1944.

His JustGiving page can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/harry-read.

Pictures by https://www.goskydive.com/

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