York-born veteran, 81, to raise forces funds with 135mph biplane wing walk

Cedric Sharp, 81, will be taking part in a wing walk for charity.
Cedric Sharp, 81, will be taking part in a wing walk for charity.

An octogenarian Army veteran will be strapped to the wing of a 1940s biplane flying at 135mph to raise funds for a forces charity – one that helped in the aftermath of a bomb blast which threw him to the ground.

York-born Cedric Sharp, 81, will take part in a wing walk on a Boeing Stearman for SSAFA on Tuesday May 12 in Selby.

Mr Sharp served in the Army for 30 years and in 1972 experienced an IRA bomb attack on the 16th Parachute Brigade headquarters at Aldershot, Hampshire.

The bomb killed seven people and injured 19 more.

He said: “I was walking close to the Officers' Mess at the time and was thrown to the ground but I was saved by a large earth mound that was between me and the bomb.

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“I knew by instinct what it might be and I ran over the mound to see if I could help.

“It was a devastating sight, and even now I find it difficult to adequately describe.

“Many agencies, including SSAFA, were assisting in the aftermath.

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“I believe that they still were many years afterwards. I’m delighted to be giving back to SSAFA to help others in need.”

Mr Sharp suffered an injury to his left heal which manifested itself later in life, but which is “quite manageable”.

Jim Morrison, head of community fundraising at SSAFA, said: “Cedric’s wing walk is an incredibly brave and exciting way to raise money for SSAFA and we are extremely grateful.”

Mr Sharp has raised more than £1,000 of his £8,000 target so far for the charity.

People can donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cedric-sharp-wing-walking