THERE was an extra poignancy at the third annual Dorset Plane Pull at Bournemouth Airport yesterday.

Charity fundraisers pulled their weight – or rather an aircraft – for the John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

But at the end of the day, there was an extra effort by volunteers to raise money in memory of Red Arrow, Flt Lt John Egging.

Teams put their pulling power to the test throughout the day by hauling a 33,000kg Boeing 737 belonging to Titan Airways, 50 metres along the tarmac at European Aviation’s base.

The plane pull, the brainchild of Richard Griffin and Rob Ward who were friends of John Thornton, is now in its third year and last year raised £11,000 for the two charities.

Royal Marine John died in Afghanistan in 2008.

His dad, Peter, said: “This is a terrific day and a really great community event.

“When Richard said he wanted to add something extra this year in memory of Jon Egging, we thought it was the least we should do.”

Bournemouth Red Arrows Association chairman, Terry Trevett, added: “We had lots of people wanting to pull the aircraft as the final part of the day in Jon’s memory.

“All the money raised in this last pull will go to a charity nominated by Jon’s widow, Emma.”

The final pull had to be delayed because of the queue of people wanting to register for it.

Mr Trevett said the BRAA members had been “shaken to the core” by the pilot’s death at last weekend’s air festival.

“So many of them met Jon for the first time at our flying club BBQ the night before he died. Everyone is very sad.”

Bournemouth Mayor, Cllr Chris Rochester, was appointed BRAA honorary team captain for the Reds pull.

He said: “The response of the town has been amazing. Everyone has shown their support and compassion. I am proud to be a Bournemouthian, born and bred.”