SOLEMN expressions and heavy black clothes may not be what you expect to see from a person jumping out of a plane.

So funeral director employees are trading their traditional gear for a parachute to raise money for charity.

Hoping to hear plenty of laughter, staff at Paul Capper Funeral Directors in Eastleigh will be taking the leap in aid of the Royal British Legion.

The team will be floating over Salisbury to raise money for the Poppy Appeal and were inspired by the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

Preparing for the skydive will be embalmer and pall bearer Jed Clampitt, 41, 79-year-old pall bearer Ray Bland, Sonia Blandford, a 68-year-old funeral arranger and Southampton magistrate, funeral arranger and military wife Lynne Cooper, 43, and Mike Hawkes, 44, a pall bearer and chauffeur who all live in Southampton.

Funeral director Paul Capper said: “Everyone is nervous understandably but it’s for such a good cause – particularly with the anniversaries this year.

“They share my respect for the Legion and didn’t need much persuading to make the drop.”

Now with the backing of Hampshire British Legion president Brigadier David Harrison and Norman Brown MBE, the team are preparing for their jump on Saturday, August 23 from Salisbury Airfield.

Anyone wishing to support them should contact Clare Peppiatt on cpeppiatt@british or 07919 573770.