Henry Allingham was world’s oldest man at 113 years old until this past Saturday saw him pass into the next life. He was one of the last 3 surviving combat veterans of WWI.
Only death could silence Henry Allingham.
He went to war as a teenager, helped keep flimsy aircraft flying, survived his wounds and came home from World War I to a long — very long — and fruitful life.
But only in his last years did he discover his true mission: to remind new generations of the sacrifices of the millions slaughtered in the trenches, killed in the air, or lost at sea in what Britons call the Great War.
Allingham was the last surviving charter member of the Royal Air Force which was formed in 1918. Britain now has only 1 surviving soldier from that war, Harry Patch. With the last WWI vets from both Germany and France having already died, Patch has only American Frank Buckles as a peer and Buckles is 108 this year. We are standing vigil over the passing, literally, of an era in history. Don’t blink…