A 97-year-old war veteran was invited to an airfield now used as a flying school in recognition of his service to the RAF
A 97-year-old war veteran was invited to an airfield now used as a flying school in recognition of his service to the RAF

A 97-year-old war veteran was invited to an airfield now used as a flying school in recognition of his service to the RAF.

Mr Darryl Briggs, of Bingham, served with 72 Squadron during the second world war as a despatch rider carrying top-secret messages to Bletchley Park on his motorcycle.

He moved around with the squadron to various locations including Italy, Sicily and Malta, and stayed on until the time of the Korean War.

Mr Briggs is a long-standing member of the Bingham branch of the Royal British Legion and sells poppies every year for the Poppy Appeal.

He was due to be honoured on Tuesday with a flypast of four Short  Tucano training aircraft from 72 (Reserve) Squadron at RAF Syerston but the flypast had to be cancelled due to poor weather.

72 Squadron was formed on June 28, 1917 and will be holding its official centenary reunion later this year at Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire.

Darryl Briggs pictured during his time in the RAF
Darryl Briggs pictured during his time in the RAF

It had planned to honour veterans who were unable to attend, such as Mr Briggs, by giving them a flypast near their homes.

Instead, Mr Briggs, accompanied by his family and members of the Bingham Royal British Legion, were shown around RAF Syerston and met members of Central Gliding School, which is based there.

Mr Briggs, who is originally from Chesterfield, moved to Bingham shortly after the second world war and met his wife, Betty.

They had three children, including Ann Green, who accompanied her father to RAF Syerston on Tuesday.

After the war, Mr Briggs delivered newsreels for organisations including the BBC.

Mr Briggs said he was overwhelmed to be at an RAF base and was not used to all the attention he was receiving.