The world's oldest tandem skydiver has been presented with an 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 May 14th this year when he skydived from a height of 15,000ft.

Verdun Hayes

And he has now been presented with his certificate in a surprise ceremony, in front of applauding family members, friends and supporters.

After being presented with his certificate, 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."

During the skydive Verdun was joined by three generations of his family. These included his son, Bryan; his grandson, Roger; his great grandson, Stanley; and his grandson-in-law Ian Honnor.

He did so aged 101 and 38 days – the previous record was set by a Canadian man called Armand Gendreau. He set the record on June 27th, 2013, when he completed the skydive aged 101 and three days.

Verdun Hayes

The doctor who signed him off for the feat also jumped.

It came after Verdun became a Legion beneficiary in 2016, when the charity took him back to the beaches of Normandy where he served during the D-Day landings.

His 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 Hayes

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 guard of honour to welcome him on his arrival.

Verdun Hayes

Army veteran Claire Rowcliffe, who now works as the Legion's fundraising director, presented Verdun with his certificate. She 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."

If you need help from the Legion, you can call its Contact Centre helpline on 0808 802 8080 from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week for all enquiries. Calls are free from UK landlines and main mobile networks.

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