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113 Not Out--Europe's Oldest Man Celebrates Another Birthday

 

Updated : Jun 6, 2009

Europe's oldest man Henry Allingham is celebrating his 113th birthday.

Mr Allingham plans to join family members and representatives from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force for a party on board HMS President in London.

His birthday marks another landmark for a man who is the last founder member of the RAF and whose life has spanned three centuries and six monarchs.

A birthday cake and card signed by the First Sea Lord will be delivered to Mr Allingham by fast raiding craft of the Royal Marines. A decanter of rum will also be presented to him by Rear Admiral Simon Charlier, the head of the Fleet Air Arm.

Mr Allingham is just one of two known UK survivors from the First World War, including 110-year-old Harry Patch, who lives in Wells, Somerset, the last surviving 'Tommy' to have served on the Western Front.

Ex-Royal Navy stoker Bill Stone, who was born in Devon, died in January this year aged 108.

All three men came together at London's Cenotaph on November 11 last year to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day.

Mr Allingham lives in St Dunstan's care home for blind ex-service personnel in Ovingdean, near Brighton, East Sussex.

His close friend Dennis Goodwin, founder of the World War One Veterans' Association, said: "He is Europe's oldest man and the oldest ever British man.

"In the mix of ingredients which has kept his mind focused and his body functioning, he's been able to enjoy living and being active in the community.

"He's done more in the last ten years then he ever did when he first retired. His realisation that he has kept going from year to year just reinforces his zeal for living."

Mr Allingham, who has five grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, joined the Royal Naval Air Service in September 1915 before transferring to the RAF in April 1918. He is the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland.

 

 

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