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Henry Allingham's Biography

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Who was Henry Allingham?

In June 2009 Guinness World Records confirmed that Henry Allingham was the world's oldest man following the death of Tomoji Tanabe in southern Japan, aged 113.

However, Henry Allingham died on 18 July 2009 at the St Dunstan's care home in Ovingdean, East Sussex.

Henry Allingham had already become Britain's oldest ever man a couple of months earlier when he reached 112 years and 296 days, overtaking Welshman John Evans's record.

Henry Allingham was born on 6 June 1896 in Clapton, London. His father died from tuberculosis when Henry was just 18 months old. His mother died in 1915 at the age of 42.

Henry Allingham was the last surviving founder member of the Royal Air Force (RAF). He had been a mechanic in the Royal Navy Air Service in September 1915, which merged with the Royal Flying Corps in April 1918 and so began his service in the RAF.

When not engaged in the world wars, much of Allingham's working life was spent in the motor industry, including a stint in the design department at Ford before retiring to live in Eastbourne in 1961.

At the time of his taking the record of the world's oldest man, Henry Allingham had five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild. His daughters, Jean and Betty, had predeceased him, as had his wife Dorothy.

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