Saturday, 18 July 2009
Henry Allingham, the World's oldest man at 113, died this morning. We were hoping to see him last week at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party to mark the Centenary of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm which Henry joined in 1915. He was not well enough to attend but I talked to Dennis and Brenda Goodwin his greatest friends and supporters who would have brought him to the event.
They have looked after all the veterans of World War I and helped to give them the recognition they deserve, a marvellous achievement that deserves our gratitude. They will be devastated by the loss of an inspiring and gracious old gentleman and I want to send them my condolences here. I have written about Henry Allingham here
and the BBC has marked his death here with a poignant video of his life and times. You can see Dennis and Brenda at his side, accompanying him, pushing his wheelchair, making his public appearances possible.
Farewell Henry - you embodied the stoicism and sacrifice of all our servicemen and the Nation mourns your passing.