Page last updated at 21:22 GMT, Monday, 29 June 2009 22:22 UK

'UK Schindler' in birthday flight

Sir Nicholas Winton and Judy Leden during the flight (pic: Judy Leden)
Sir Nicholas Winton turned 100 in May and celebrated with the flight

A man known as the "British Schindler" for saving hundreds of Jewish children has celebrated turning 100 with a microlight flight over Berkshire.

Every year Sir Nicholas Winton, from Maidenhead, celebrates with a birthday flight over White Waltham Airfield.

Pilot Judy Leden is the daughter of one of the boys he saved.

Sir Nicholas, who turned 100 last month, was 29 when he smuggled 669 boys and girls destined for concentration camps, out of Czechoslovakia in 1939.

He kept quiet about his work for 50 years until his wife found a scrapbook in the attic containing lists of children and letters from their parents.

It was quite turbulent, but he didn't mind
Judy Leden, pilot

Ms Leden, a world champion in hang gliding and paragliding, said if it was not for "Nicky" she would not be here.

Her father, Tom Leden, was one of the children for whom Sir Nicholas organised transport to escape to the UK just before the outbreak of World War II.

Ms Leden, of Tideswell, Derbyshire, said Monday's flight was "fantastic".

"It was quite turbulent, but he didn't mind. It usually is, because we always fly in the middle of the day and there are quite a lot of thermals.

Sir Nicholas Winton
Sir Nicholas Winton kept quiet about his work for 50 years

"We flew along the Thames, he really loved it. It was really, really beautiful."

She said he had become the oldest person to fly in a microlight.

Sir Nicholas, a former Stock Exchange clerk, was knighted by the Queen in the 2002 New Year honours list.

There are believed to be more than 5,000 "Winton children" descended from the 670 children he helped escape from Prague to Britain in 1939.

His heroics earned him the nickname "Britain's Schindler" - a reference to German Oskar Schindler, who saved more than 1,000 Jews during World War II.



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