Henry Allingham has died at the age of 113. He was the world’s oldest man,the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland, the last surviving member of the Royal Naval Air Service and the last surviving founder member of the Royal Air Force.
Tributes were paid to Mr Allingham by the Queen, Prince Charles and The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. Mr Allingham served with the Royal Naval Air Service in WWI, later transferring to the Royal Air Force at the time of its creation.
Dennis Goodwin, founder of the First World War Veterans' Association and a friend of Mr Allingham, said: "Henry was truly a gentleman - his strength of character, his purpose.He left quite a legacy to the nation of memories of what it was like to have been in WWI,"
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathon Band said: "Henry will be remembered with great fondness for his strong sense of humour and joy of life, and he was an inspiration for all those serving in the Royal Navy." Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, Chief of the Air Staff, said his passing was a "milestone in history. Henry was an inspiration to many and his thirst for life, cheery disposition and a desire to help others was his mark," he added.
His nephew Ronald Cator said his uncle looked "very, very frail. He went downhill in the last few months. He used to sleep a lot at the end. He wanted to pass away, poor old boy."
For decades, like many other war veterans, Mr Allingham buried his memories of the war, avoiding reunions and refusing to tell his family about his experiences. But, in recent years, he started making public appearances to make sure new generations did not forget the toll of war and went on to tell his life story in a book which was published last year.
His death means there are now only four WWI veterans still alive: Britons Harry Patch, 111, and Claude Choules, 108(now living in Australia) American Frank Buckles and Canadian John Babcock, who both live in the USA