112-year-old becomes Europe's oldest man

June 7, 2008 at 6:06 PM

LONDON, June 7 (UPI) -- Englishman Henry Allingham has become the oldest man throughout Europe after celebrating his 112th birthday, relatives say.

Relatives of the former mechanic for Britain's Royal Naval Air Service say while Allingham has long been prepared to die, he somehow has persevered long enough to become Europe's oldest male resident, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

"Henry says he doesn't know why he's still here," Allingham's grandson, David Gray, said.

"We have been coming over for 12 years and keep expecting every year to be his last, but there is just something in him. He said once, 'I think I'll die in July'. But he was told he couldn't do that, because he was expected at the queen's garden party."

As part of becoming Europe's oldest man this week, the London-born senior citizen visited the Royal Air Force Coningsby station in the county of Lincolnshire.

The Telegraph reported during the tour that Allingham's comments were limited and referred in his lengthy past.

"Fuel. That was a bugger," the 112-year-old said while examining the station's planes.

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