World War Two veteran dies aged 98

Richmond veteran John Jeffries.

A World War Two veteran who was shot and captured while parachuting into Arnhem has died aged 98.

John Jeffries, of Richmond, died on Thursday.

Mr Jeffries joined The Royal Signals in 1941.

He saw active service in Syria, Egypt, North Africa and Italy before joining the Parachute Regiment.

On September 18, 1944, he was shot and wounded while parachuting into Arnhem in Holland to take part in the ill-fated Operation Market Garden.

The soldier was captured by the Germans and became a prisoner of war.

Over the months that followed, he endured several POW camps, made a daring escape attempt and eventually found freedom again when he was liberated by US forces.

John Jeffries as a young man.

In 2017, Mr Jeffries again parachuted into Arnhem when he took part in an event with the Army’s famous Red Devils to raise money for the Northumbria Blood Bikes charity.

The jump was organised by Sky Dive Academy at the Peterlee Parachute Centre.

After the war, the veteran had a successful career as an art teacher, a skill he used to help people at the Broadacres-run Able Centre in Colburn, where he worked as a volunteer.

In 2016, Mr Jeffries published a book, entitled A Spirit for Adventure, about his life.