UK war veteran becomes oldest man in the world at 113

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At the age of 113 Henry Allingham, the oldest surviving veteran of the first world war, has officially been proclaimed the oldest man alive by Guinness World Records, after the death today of Tomoji Tanabe in Japan.

His friend Denis Goodwin, a founder of the First World War Veterans Association, who has escorted Allingham to innumerable parades, memorial services and presentations, said: "It's staggering. 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."

At St Dunstan's home for blind ex-service personnel, near Brighton, where Allingham has lived since he finally gave up his Eastbourne flat at the age of 110, chief executive Robert Leader sent sympathy to the family of Tanabe, who died in his sleep, also aged 113. He added: "We are proud to be caring for such a remarkable man. He has just celebrated his 113th birthday, and knowing Henry as I do, he will take the news in his stride."

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