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Hurricane on York theatre roof will be "amazing talking point"

A Hurricane aircraft was airlifted onto the roof of York Theatre Royal today - and the director of the city's Air Museum hopes it will get people talking about the local history of the air force.

The lift not only marks Armed Forces Day, but also the 70th anniversary of the French Air Force arriving in York.

In June 1944 two French bomber squadrons became operational at RAF Elvington (now the Air Museum). They were unique in Bomber Command, with Elvington being the only base to be operated wholly by another nationality. Some 2300 French personnel were stationed at the base.

“As this significant 70th Anniversary coincides exactly with the build up to the Grand Départ of the Tour De France in York, the Hurricane will provide both an amazing talking point for the City’s celebration of this magnificent sporting event and provide a visual spectacle for the television camera’s following the peleton as it swoops past the Theatre Royal, with York Minster resplendent in the background.

"The Hurricane also reflects another wartime link to France, as it was a French pilot, Yves Mahé flying his 253 Squadron Hawker Hurricane, who first intervened to save York during the ‘York Blitz’ of April 1942.”

– Ian Reed, Director - Yorkshire Air Museum
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Fitting memorial as Hurricane airlifted onto York theatre roof

The Hurrican took pride of place on at around 5.30am this morning

Today marks the sixth annual Armed Forces Day.

And in the same year we mark the centenary of World War I, there are plenty of events going on across the region to show support for the forces.

In York, early this morning the Hawker Hurricane aircraft, normally housed at the Yorkshire Air Museum, was lifted onto the roof of the café of the Theatre Royal. This month is also the 70th Anniversary of the French Air Force arriving in York.

On top of all this, York will host Stage 2 of the Tour de France Grand Depart, making this memorial especially significant.


The Two Worlds of Charlie F comes to Newcastle

A play that is based on the lives of injured servicemen and women is coming to Newcastle's Theatre Royal as part of its nationwide tour.

'The Two Worlds of Charlie F' is unique as its cast is made up largely of former and current soldiers who were injured while they were serving with the armed forces.

Phil Roscoe went along to find out more.

Watch his full report below.

Help for Heroes charity urges everyone to get on their bike

Armed forces charity Help for Heroes has launched a fund raising bike ride to raise one and a half million pounds to help injured soldiers.

It is the 8th year the charity has organised a bike ride through the battlefields of the First World War, and this year they are encouraging everyone to take part with smaller UK-based rides planned.

David Wood reports.

Prince Harry leads team to Antarctica

The prince smiles as he makes his way on to the plane Credit: ITV News

A group of severely injured servicemen and women are on their way to the bottom of the world with Prince Harry.

It's part of the charity Walking with the Wounded's latest expedition. Ibrar Ali from North Yorkshire is taking part and Northumberland explorer Conrad Dickinson is also going as a guide.

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'We have the mental strength to do charity trek'

Captain Ibrar Ali who is taking part in the Walking With The Wounded charity polar trek with Prince Harry admitted there will be days when the teams will be "tested" but says he believes they have the mental strength to overcome the challenges


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'Harry's no different to anyone else on trek'

Captain Ibrar Ali, whose right arm was amputated after he was caught up in a roadside bomb explosion in Afghanistan in 2007, said he felt both nervous and excited about the South Pole challenge ahead and described Prince Harry as a "great team member"

As we've said throughout, he's a great team member and just fits in really well so no different to anyone else.

– Captain Ibrar Ali

Re-training in energy industry for ex-forces personnel

Close up of people working in Offshore Wind Turbine Credit: Maersk Training

Ex-forces personnel are being given the chance of to retrain in a new industry thanks to a push from the offshore wind industry.

Distant shot of people working on Offshore Wind Turbine Credit: Maersk Training

Maersk Training has developed a new qualification to better job opportunities and prospects for those who have left the armed forces by educating them about the increasing offshore wind energy sector.

The offshore wind turbine industry is increasing Credit: Maersk Training
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