89-year-old Erith war veteran raises £1700 for Taxi Charity after parachute jump
Edward ‘Ted’ Pieri, who turns 90 next May, jumped from a plane with the Red Devils, 70 years after first gaining his wings
A war veteran from Erith has taken part in a charity parachute jump to raise money to help other veterans take flight.
Edward ‘Ted’ Pieri, who turns 90 next May, donated £1700 to the London Taxi Benevolent Association For War Disabled charity after jumping from a plane with the Red Devils, 70 years after first gaining his wings.
His efforts will enable the Taxi Charity to host a gliding day next year for 10 veterans whose total ages top 900.
The veteran, who has two children, Ian and Francis, and two grandchildren, Hayley and Luke, received a framed certificate, presented by Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson, national president of the Royal British Legion at the charity’s Christmas lunch at Millwall Football Club.
Mr Pieri said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the jump, as well as the great hospitality shown by the Red Devils.
“They were a wonderful set of lads and they made me feel immensely proud to be part of the airborne forces.
“The Taxi Charity do so much for the Armed Forces veterans and I have experienced first-hand the wonderful work and great people that make so much difference to people lives.”
Mr Pieri volunteered for parachute training during the Second World War and was awarded his wings in 1944.
He then undertook logistic support for Arnhem, and was held in reserve after which he returned to Lincoln before supporting the Allies’ final moments taking place in Norway.
From there, he joined a ship going to Java. and while travelling through the Suez Canal, the Japanese surrendered.
Dick Goodwin, committee member for the Taxi Charity said: “We were so pleased with Ted’s charity jump for us, as this is a great boost to our funding and will enable us to provide more trips and lunches for our veterans.
“At a recent lunch, a flight in a glider was donated to us to auction at one of our events.
“The person who bid the most to go on the flight was 95 year-old George Parsons.
“The only problem was, we had requests from nine other vets all aged over 90 who asked if they could also go along, so we will now be organising a gliding day for this lot in the spring.
“Where do they get the energy from?”