Ilkeston: UK's oldest WW2 veteran honoured with Spitfire flypast

Donald Rose
Donald Rose celebrated his 109th birthday in December [BBC]

Dozens of people watched a Spitfire fly over a Derbyshire care home in honour of the UK's oldest surviving World War Two veteran.

Donald Rose, aged 109, served in the war on the front line with the 7th Armoured Division.

The iconic aircraft passed over his care home in Ilkeston on Monday afternoon.

The plane was taking part in the Royal Airforce's Battle of Britain memorial flight.

The flypast happened after Naomi Allsop, activity coordinator at Canal View Care Home, wrote to the RAF asking for them to honour Mr Rose.

She said she was initially told it would not be possible until she received the go-ahead for the tribute two weeks ago.

Ms Allsop said: "Since 2021 I've been ticking off things for Donald for his bucket list but this is like the cherry on the cake for him.

"I've been writing to the RAF every year to see if they could do a flyover for his birthday but I've never had a reply back.

"To have this organised at a care home is just incredible, and Donald loves Spitfires and knows everything about them.

"After three years of trying to make it happen; it's just amazing."

Born in 1914, Mr Rose joined the Queen's Royal Regiment aged 25 and served in North Africa and Europe before training as a sniper.

The flypast, which happened at about 13:45 BST, took place amid a range of events to commemorate World War Two and honour the armed forces.

Ms Allsop said the local community came together to celebrate the special occasion at the care home.

In 2022, Mr Rose received more than 150 messages from well-wishers after a public appeal for people to send him birthday cards.

He also received a visit from the Mayor of Erewash on the most recent Armistice Day.

Donald Rose and Naomi Allsop
Naomi Allsop helped organise the flypast for Mr Rose [BBC]

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