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Henry Allingham

Although he lived to the extraordinary age of 113 years and 42 days, Henry Allingham is not our hero for that feat alone: it was what he had done in his life and the way he lived it that made him a hero. He was a founder member of the RAF and veteran of the Battle of Jutland. But rather than glory in that most terrible of wars he always emphasized the horror of it. Allingham was bright and alert in his extreme old age, and put his longevity down in part to his sense of humour. Add to that his belief that cigarettes, whisky and wild wild women had helped him become the world’s oldest man, and he was doubly a hero for living his life, not surviving it.

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If I had been around when Rubens was painting, I would have been revered as a fabulous model. Kate Moss? Well, she would have been the paintbrush. - Dawn French
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On this day:
Irish Catholic Uprising - 1641, Battle of Trafalgar - 1805, First Women Peers Enter Lords - 1958, 1st British Nuclear Powered Sub launched - 1960, The Aberfan Disaster - 1966
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