Veteran, 100, takes Arnhem glider flight

Malton veteran Ray Whitwell took to the skies during his visit to Holland.
Malton veteran Ray Whitwell took to the skies during his visit to Holland.

A Malton veteran who celebrated his 100th birthday in March took to the skies in a glider during a recent visit to Holland with The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans.

Ray Whitwell was with the charity at Terlet Gliding Club, near Arnhem, to see Fiona Elliot take the ashes of her father Ian Bonner, a glider pilot who was captured at Arnhem, on a final glider flight.

A spokesman said: “When the glider returned, Ray asked if he could take to the skies and the Dutch gliding team were only too happy to grant his wish. The flight lasted 15 minutes and when Ray landed, he had a huge smile on his face and immediately asked if he could go up again.”

Mr Whitwell was born on 19 March 1919 and served in the Royal Army Service Corps, 1st Airborne Division.

He was called up in September 1939 and in 1944, aged 25, was one of the 30,000 British, American and Polish troops involved in the Battle of Arnhem, one of the worst engagements with German forces during the Second World War.