Gloucestershire

Final flight for terminally ill WW2 Spitfire engineer

Ken Farlow and James Peplow Image copyright Jenny Peplow
Image caption Ken Farlow was taken for a flight in a two-seat aircraft with flying school owner James Peplow

A terminally ill former World War Two Spitfire engineer has taken to the skies after a poignant photo of him became an unlikely internet hit.

The image of Ken Farlow, 95, staring through a fence at Gloucestershire Airport came to the attention of bosses after it was shared by his daughter.

They invited him to Royal Air Force Coningsby and the Royal International Air Tattoo after hearing his story.

And on Saturday, he was treated to a flight in a two-man trainer aircraft.

Gloucestershire Airport's Darren Lewington said: "The original story broke a week or so ago, but the icing on the cake on Saturday was that Ken got to take to the skies himself at our charity open day."

Image copyright Helen Nock
Image caption This poignant photo of Ken Farlow staring through the fence at Spitfires came to the attention of Gloucestershire Airport bosses after it was shared around the world on social media

The operations director said Mr Farlow - who has bowel cancer - flew in a two-seat Citabria aircraft with James Peplow, the owner of a specialist flying school based at the airport.

"He also got to see his beloved Spitfire again," Mr Lewington added.

"We're delighted we've been able to rekindle all those memories, and that the family have something positive to look back on when the inevitable time comes."

Mr Farlow's daughter Helen Nock, who took the photo of him staring through the fence, said: "I still can't believe he flew. And I'm still getting my head around that this has gone round the world from one simple photograph."

She said her father, who lives in Painswick, Gloucestershire, was a chartered electrical engineer in the war and spent time in Syria and Palestine working on Spitfires and Hurricanes.

Image copyright Helen Nock
Image caption Mr Farlow was also invited to Royal Air Force Coningsby in Lincolnshire and the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford earlier in the month

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