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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 21:37 GMT
Veteran gets freedom of home town
Henry Allingham
Mr Allingham was also a recipient of the Legion D'Honneur in France
The oldest surviving British war veteran is to be awarded the freedom of his East Sussex home town.

Henry Allingham, whose 110th birthday is on 6 June, is due to be given the honour during a special ceremony at Eastbourne Town Hall next Tuesday.

One of his friends, Dennis Goodwin from the World War I Veterans' Association, said Mr Allingham felt "privileged" to be getting the freedom of Eastbourne.

The former aircraft engineer was part of the RAF's creation in 1918.

'Zest for life'

The Mayor of Eastbourne, Councillor Graham Marsden, said: "It is a great pleasure to be able to bestow the freedom of Eastbourne upon Henry Allingham.

"He is a man of distinction and most worthy of the honour.

"He has served his country well, is a first class ambassador for the town and, despite his great age, still has a tremendous zest for life."

Mr Goodwin added: "In receiving the freedom of Eastbourne, Henry feels honoured and privileged to be representing the five million men that were under arms at the end of the war and more especially the near one million who never came home."

Mr Allingham began his military service in September 1915 and was formally discharged from the Royal Air Force four years later.

During his career he joined HMT Kingfisher and was involved in the historic Battle of Jutland in 1916.

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