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World’s oldest skydiver receives guard of honour for 15,000ft jump

Verdun Hayes performed his incredible jump on May 14.

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Verdun Hayes, the world’s oldest skydiver (Press Association)

Verdun Hayes, the world’s oldest skydiver (Press Association)

Verdun Hayes, the world’s oldest skydiver (Press Association)

A Second World War veteran has jumped into the history books after receiving his Guinness World Record certificate for an astounding skydive at the age of 101 years and 38 days.

Somerset pensioner Bryson William Verdun Hayes, known as Verdun, smashed the record on May 14 this year when he skydived from a height of 15,000ft.

He was granted a surprise guard of honour in Western-super-Mare by members of 10 Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment on Monday, after raising £3,600 for the Royal British Legion through his effort.

Hayes, who fought in the D-Day Normandy landings on June 6 1944, said it had been a “beautiful” experience.

He said: “I was not afraid; no fears, no nothing.

“Just dive out of the plane and hope the parachute opens when you get two miles down.”

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Verdun said he didn’t experience nerves during the jump (Skydive.buzz/PA)

Verdun said he didn’t experience nerves during the jump (Skydive.buzz/PA)

Verdun said he didn’t experience nerves during the jump (Skydive.buzz/PA)

Family and friends applauded as the widower, who skydived at Dunkeswell, Devon, was handed his certificate.

The previous world record was held by Canadian Armand Gendreau, who skydived in June 2013 aged 101 and three days.

Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records, described Hayes’s skydive as an “amazing feat”.

“Verdun’s enthusiasm for life is inspiring and something many of us can learn from,” he added.

PA