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92-Year-Old Former Pilot Rewarded For Being Inspirational

Natasha Wharton

Natasha Wharton



Last summer, we honoured eight inspirational over-60s whose impressive feats were changing the lives of the people around them. Our North London Inspirational Generation winner, Jean Hoare, was invited to an exclusive event thanks to her work

At 92 years old, Jean Hoare has lived a remarkable life. After falling in love with flying aged just nine years old (after watching the airwoman Amy Johnson), Jean centred her life on the activity. This started with Jean joining the Women’s Royal Navy Service at a young age. Fast forward a few years and Jean had the honour of being selected to walk in the 1946 Victory Parade in London. 

Until her retirement, Jean worked as a pilot and within the flight industry. Her inspiring work included carrying out trials with Flight Refuelling Ltd to refuel aircraft while airborne (work that is still being used today) and making solo flights. She found love with a BEA captain (an airline now known as British Airlines) and, after marrying, they travelled the world together. Based in our Blyton House development in Bourne End, Jean and her husband continue to share their love of flying. 

Following her Inspirational Generation award and in recognition of her impressive work, Jean was invited to attend the ticket launch of Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Armed Forces Day. A national event that takes place annually to say thank you to our armed forces, Armed Forces Day will take place on 29th June this year. In the run-up to Buckinghamshire’s celebrations of the occasion – which will include air displays, music and a fairground – on 11th April, a charming ticket launch event took place at Buckinghamshire’s High Wycombe Town Hall. 

Enjoying an afternoon of refreshments, a ticket launch show and mingling with fellow members of Buckinghamshire’s armed forces community and more, Jean was, in fact, one of four guests over the age of 90. Other inspirational ex-armed forces veterans and members included an ex-Halifax Rear Gunner who was 95 years old, a veteran of D-Day and an ex-1st Btn 43/52 Light Infantry veteran.

Speaking about her experience, Jean commented: “I had a fantastic time at the Armed Forces ticket launch event. It was a lovely gesture to be invited and see the fantastic work that takes place in the local community in support of the armed forces.”

“After my years in the armed forces, it’s wonderful to still be involved and share stories with fellow members and local people. I wish them all the success with their future endeavours!”

Buckinghamshire County Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Bill Bendyshe-Brown, added: “Armed Forces Day is the perfect opportunity to say thank you to the men and women of our armed forces, past, present and future, for all that they do.”

Find out more about Jean and our Inspirational Generation winners here.
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