300 years old?

June 22, 2009

British WWI veteran becomes world’s oldest man

Allingham’s life has spanned three centuries and six monarchs, starting with Queen Victoria. He has five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild.

Please verify that you meant to report this man’s life spanned three centuries. That would make him 300 years old I think…


This story states “Allingham’s life has spanned three centuries and six monarchs” which I believe would actually make him 300 years old not 113. Just a little catch.


One century is 100 years. Three centuries is 300 years. If he is 113 years old, he has lived for one century and thirteen years.


A surprising number of readers made similar comments about this reference. This is a fairly common way of saying someone lived DURING three centuries – the 19th, 20th and 21st. We’re aware that he isn’t 300 years old: GBU EDITOR

Britain’s oldest man, Henry Allingham, holds a glass of champagne during his 113th birthday party at HMS President, in London June 6, 2009. The Royal Navy organised the party for Allingham, on the day of his birthday, for his family, close friends and members of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.      REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

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After reading the responses to this news item, I was compelled to make a brief comment.What on earth did you think was meant by ‘…life has spanned three centuries’? Do you really believe the author meant to convey that Allingham was in fact 300 years old?Get a clue!

Posted by Jimbo | Report as abusive

The article says his life spanned from Queen Victoria as starting point. Don’t forget Queen Victoria had been in reign for about 64 years. If Mr. Allingham was born in final years of the Queen, that would add up – 6 monarchs,no mistake.

Posted by Yamayoko | Report as abusive

After reading the responses from viewers on this topic,i am wondering how is it possible to remember of 300 years.Average man!s life span is 65 years.Here, in India,many Soothsayers,had predicted of my past,present and future life.Just get more informations from them,i dragged on this subject for so long.I have not been impressed by their sayings.May be due to some sub conscious mind.over reading of past persons life history,achievements on many fields made this man to think like that.This is a hobby for some.

Posted by krishnamurthi ramachandran | Report as abusive

What fascinates me is his secret to reaching 113 – “cigarettes, whisky, and wild wild women”. Equally moving is how this WWI veteran expressed his disgust for conflicts by saying: “War’s stupid. Nobody wins. You might as well talk first, you have to talk last anyway.”God bless you Henry!

Posted by Nu’man El-Bakri | Report as abusive

If the article had mentioned the gentleman’s date of birth it would have helped. I bet he’s been getting the same old postcard from the Queen for over a decade now.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

Allingham’s life has SPANNED three centuries, which means he was born in the 19th century, lived the greater portion of his life in the 20th century (the 1900’s, if you’re as still as dumb as you sound), and now he’s living (but not for long, probably, God bless him) in the 21st century. Man, I’d love to see your SAT scores!

Posted by Adam | Report as abusive

My favourite part of this blog is when readers who are so dumb that they can’t interpret the language of a simply written news story feel compelled to write snarkily superior and sarcastic comments to the editor. Who them gets to shoot them down. Up with dumb readers!!!

Posted by Brenda F | Report as abusive