A SECOND World War veteran proved that age is no barrier to adventure when he parachuted out of a plane for the first time since being shot at during the battle of Arnhem.

John Jeffries, from Richmond, North Yorkshire, undertook the daredevil jump with the Army’s famous Red Devils at Peterlee, County Durham, to raise money for the Northumbria Blood Bikes charity.

Next week, the 95-year-old will travel to the site of the ill-fated Operation Market Garden in Arnhem, Holland, where he will recreate the jump he had to make as a young soldier under fire all those years ago.

His high-octane exploits have so far raised more than £1,000 for the Blood Bikes and speaking after the jump on Friday Mr Jeffries said: "It was absolutely fantastic; it was a mixture of fear and elation.

"If I analysed all my feelings, there were times when I thought 'what the hell are you doing?' but within the next minute I knew exactly why I was doing it.

"But fear and elation is probably the best way of describing it."

The jump was organised through the Sky Dive Academy at the Peterlee Parachute Centre and office manager Colin Daley said it had been a great spectacle to watch.

"He seemed to have enjoyed his jump, he had a big smile on his face," he said.

Mr Jeffries and the Red Devils Display Team jumped from 15,000ft, which is about three miles, and the speeds reached on the descent will have been up to 130mph.

The occasion was a far cry from Mr Jeffries' last parachute jump which came under much graver circumstances.

Whilse serving with the Royal Corps of Signals he volunteered for parachute training, but while jumping into Arnhem and weighed down by his radio equipment, he was shot during his descent.

His daughter, Lynn Tomkinson, said: "The last jump he did at Arnhem was operational and they parachuted out from just 300ft.

"They were so low down, that is how they could be shot so easily."

On Friday, Mr Jeffries joked that the only thing shooting at him on his Peterlee jump were cameras and at least he now knows what he is letting himself in for ahead of his jump in Arnhem on Friday.

Mr Jeffries, who went on to have a successful career as an art teacher after the war, said he is not worried about Arnhem bringing back traumatic memories because he visits every year and talks to Dutch schoolchildren about his wartime experiences.

He said: "I am quite happy to do the jump because it will give me the chance to catch up with the many friends I have in Arnhem."