Saturday, 18 July 2009
Salute To A Grand Old Man - Henry Allingham
Henry Allingham has passed away at the age of 113. He was the world's oldest man and a veteran of World War 1.
Henry would never speak about his experiences until late into his life when he began educating young people on the horrors of war. He was married for over fifty years and leaves behind several generations of his family including one great-great-great grandchild.
Born in 1896 to an ironmonger's wife in a corner of north-east London, the veteran, whose life spanned three centuries and six monarchs, was 67 when John F Kennedy was assassinated and 73 when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.
At the time of his death, he was the last surviving founder member of the R.A.F., the last man to have witnessed the Battle of Jutland and the last surviving member of the Royal Naval Air Service.
His mother had begged him not to go to war but, after her death, he enlisted in 1915
There will be many tributes to Henry and I cannot do him justice here. but he was held in great esteem by the British people, the French people, the armed forces, members of the government and even members of the Royal family. We shall not see his like again.
I salute you Henry. Now you can take your well earned rest reunited with your old comrades.