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Page last updated at 09:33 GMT, Wednesday, 3 June 2009 10:33 UK

Australia's oldest man, 110, dies

Australia's oldest man, Jack Ross, has died at 110 years old.

Mr Ross died in his sleep in a nursing home in Bendigo, in the southern state of Victoria, the nursing home said.

Mr Ross was also Australia's last surviving veteran of World War I, though the war ended before he saw active service.

In parliament Prime Minister Kevin Rudd paid tribute to Mr Ross, saying Australia "owes so much to this brave war generation".

"Today [Wednesday] we mourn the death of Jack Ross," he said, according to news agency AFP.

"I ask that we also reflect on the service and sacrifice of the 417,000 Australians who served our nation during World War I and the 61,000 who gave their lives," he added.

Teetotal

John Campbell Ross was born in 1899 and enlisted with the Australian military in early 1918, training as a radio operator.

But the war ended in November of the same year, before he was posted overseas or saw active duty.

He went on to work on the Victoria state railway for 45 years, serving in the volunteer defence corps during World War II. He retired in 1964.

The teetotaller and non-smoker nicknamed "Pop" celebrated his 110th birthday in March, with chocolates and cake and a commemorative letter from Mr Rudd.

Australia's oldest person is Emily Beatrice ("Bea") Riley, who turned 112 last October.



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