World War Two survivor Bryson William Verdun Hayes jumped from 15,000 ft and landed safely in the record books with the title Oldest tandem parachute jump (male).

Bryson's Guinness World Records certificate was presented to him by The Royal British Legion at a celebratory event in Weston-super-Mare, UK this morning.

Verdun receives his GWR certificate at The Royal British Legion's Somerset Legion House break centre

The thrill-seeking great-grandfather was an incredible 101 years 38 days when he completed the attempt, just one year after doing his very first skydive at the age of 100.

“I wanted to bring the record back to the UK,” Bryson told Guinness World Records in his application for the record.

Previously the title was held by Armand Gendreau from Canada, who set the record in 2014 aged 101 years 3 days.

For the attempt, Verdun was attached in tandem to a professional skydive instructor, who guided him throughout the freefall and landing.

Asked how he felt after the history-making jump, Verdun said he was “absolutely over the moon”.

Oldest tandem parachute jump landing

The event took place at Dunkeswell Airfield in Devon, UK, with many members of Verdun's family also joining him in the air. Even the doctor who signed Verdun off for the attempt joined the group skydive!

There were four generations of the Verdun Hayes family freefalling at the same time, with the youngest aged just 16 years old.

Verdun, who was born on 6 April 1916, fought during the historic Normandy landings in 1944.

A spokesman for the Royal British Legion, which invited Verdun back to Normandy as a beneficiary in 2016, said: “We are very proud of Verdun’s achievements and his family’s support for the Royal British Legion and the money raised recognises the service and sacrifice made across all generations of the British armed forces.”

Oldest tandem parachute jump certificate presentation

At the certificate presentation today, two months after the attempt, Verdun commented: “What a wonderful surprise. I was shocked when I saw all those people waiting for me. It was a pleasure to raise money for the Legion as the charity is very close to my heart. I just hope my efforts help to shed some light on all the amazing work that the charity does throughout the year.”
Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief at GWR added: “At Guinness World Records we are lucky enough to see some amazing feats all around the world and this record is no exception. Verdun’s enthusiasm for life is inspiring and something many of us can learn from. His parachute jump reminds us that record breaking is something that anyone can put their mind to and we are pleased to welcome him into the Guinness World Records family.”