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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 December 2005, 12:45 GMT
UK's 'oldest' man dies, aged 111
George Pajaczkowski-Dydynski
The former colonel had eight great-grandchildren
A Polish army veteran - thought to have been Britain's oldest man - has died at a nursing home in Cumbria.

Jerzy Pajaczkowski-Dydynski - known as George - who was 111, lived in Sedbergh until ill-health forced a move to a nursing home in Grange over Sands.

The former colonel was born in what is now Ukraine, but was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1894.

He escaped the German invasion of Poland in 1940 and worked as a gardener in Scotland before moving to Cumbria.

His son-in-law Richard Thomas, of Birks Fold, said he and other members of the family had seen the highly decorated veteran at the Boarbank Hall nursing home before he died on 6 December.

Mr Thomas said: "We saw him on the day he died. He had a very colourful and eventful life."

Mr Dydynski studied law at the University of Vienna, but when World War I broke out joined the Polish Army and saw service in the war between Russia and Poland in the 1920's.

George Pajaczkowski-Dydynski

He was still with the army when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, but eventually managed to escape to Britain.

He spent months in hospital after falling ill on New Year's Eve 2003 and breaking his hip.

The colonel was born in Lwow on 19 July, 1894, and moved to Sedbergh from Edinburgh in 1993 with his second wife Dorothy, who predeceased him.

The family said his long life was down to his positive outlook and, until recently, a daily half glass of Guinness.

He leaves 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

He was called up to the Austrian Infantry in 1915 and became a sergeant before going to Montenegro and Albania, where he fought against the Italians.

He married in 1924 but his first wife later died. He married again in 1946.

Family from Poland, Britain, the US, Australia and France are due to attend a funeral service at Sedbergh Parish Church on 12 December.

Veteran's life in his own words
10 Dec 05 |  Cumbria

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