Page last updated at 10:26 GMT, Friday, 19 June 2009 11:26 UK

UK man is world's oldest at 113

Henry Allingham with his great-great grandson Erik Carlson aged 3

World War I veteran Henry Allingham is the world's oldest man following the death of a 113-year-old in Japan, Guinness World Records has confirmed.

Mr Allingham, one of only two surviving WWI veterans in the UK and the last surviving founder member of the RAF, was born on 6 June 1896.

He was born in Clapton, London, and now lives at St Dunstan's Centre for blind ex-service personnel near Brighton.

Tomoji Tanabe died in his sleep at his home in southern Japan, aged 113.

Mr Tanabe was named as the world's oldest man in June 2007 and credited his longevity to drinking a daily glass of milk.

'Take in stride'

Mr Allingham's friend and chaperone, Dennis Goodwin, said: "It's staggering. [Henry] is philosophical.

"He will take it in his stride, like he does everything else.

"He withdraws in himself and he chews it over like he does all the things he has done in his life.

"That's his secret I think."

Mr Allingham, whose life has spanned three centuries and six monarchs, has five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild.

WORLD EVENTS SINCE 1896
1901 - Queen Victoria dies
1914 - WWI begins
1929 - The Wall Street Crash
1945 - First atomic bomb detonated
1953 - Everest climbed for the first time
1963 - President Kennedy assassinated
1969 - Neil Armstrong walks on the Moon
1977 - Death of Elvis Presley
1989 - Fall of the Berlin Wall
1990 - Nelson Mandela freed from prison after 27 years
2008 - US elects first black president

Most of his family now live in the United States but his nephew Ronald Cator, 74, lives in Acle, Norfolk

Mr Cator said: "It's fantastic news. He is very frail now but I'm sure he'll be very pleased to hear it.

"We are very proud of him."

Mr Allingham joined the Royal Navy Air Service in September 1915 before transferring to the RAF in April 1918.

The Royal Navy hosted a birthday party on the HMS President in London for his family, close friends and members of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force earlier this month.

In the past year, Mr Allingham has been given a doctorate in engineering from Southampton Solent University, been made an honorary freeman of Brighton and Hove and become the "oldest scout".

In March, he was made an honorary member of the Royal Naval Association and also received an upgraded Legion d'Honneur in London, six years after receiving his first one.

Mr Allingham is the sole survivor of the Battle of Jutland and has also published his life story.

Nigel Huxtable, of the Royal Naval Association, said: "Our association members are thrilled to share his good news.

"We are delighted that he is now the oldest man in the world and look forward to him stretching his life even further."

Mr Allingham became Britain's oldest-ever man in March when he reached 112 years and 296 days, surpassing Welshman John Evans who died in 1990.



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SEE ALSO
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Oldest man marks 112th birthday
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