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Mourners celebrate life of Britain's oldest man

Hundreds of mourners have gathered to celebrate the life of Britain's oldest man who died at the age of 110.

A mourner holds an order of service at the funeral service for Britain's oldest man Reg Dean. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The funeral of former minister Reg Dean was held today at St Mary's Church in Wirksworth, Derbyshire.

Mr Dean became Britain's oldest man in June 2010 after the death of Stanley Lucas, aged 110, of Cornwall.

Reg Dean's son Christopher speaks to the congregation. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Dean's son Christopher said his father had only ever wanted to help others and make a difference to their lives.

Funeral of Britain's oldest man to take place

The funeral of Britain's oldest man who died aged 110 is due to take place today.

Undated family handout photo of Reg Dean in bed for his birthday last year. Credit: Family Handout/PA Wire

Reg Dean, a former minister, died earlier this month and hundreds of people are expected to attend the church service in Wirksworth, Derbyshire.

Mr Dean, who aged exactly 110 years and 63 days, spent his life working "to make a difference" to the lives of people less fortunate than himself, his son Christopher Dean said.


Man drank 'Indian elixir to live to 110'

Reg Dean's son said he had always believed an "elixir" given to him in India may have played a hand in his longevity.

A friend of my father's said he would like to give him an elixir to drink, which he said would mean he would suffer no illness until he was over 100.

It was foul-tasting, but of course he never thought not to drink it - he just did.

The only real illness my father then had was the infection last year, which left him bed-ridden and which eventually got him.

Oldest man 'only ever wanted to make a difference'

The son of Britain's oldest man who has died said his father had only ever wanted "to make a difference" to the lives of those less fortunate.

Reg Dean was heavily involved in charity work throughout his life and completed a sponsored walk from Nottingham to Derby at the age of 90.

Later, he set up a Fairtrade store in his downstairs lounge, when he still lived at home, calling the franchise Traidcraft - it became Traid Links and continues to successfully operate in Wirksworth to this day.

Mr Dean's son Christopher, said his father had told him he had no fear at the prospect of his death.

He told me he wasn't at all scared.

He said to me once 'I am living under a sentence of death - but I intend to take a long time about it.'

– Christopher Dean


Britain's oldest man 'nearly didn't come back from Second World War'

During the Second World War, Reg Dean was stationed in Burma in the Far East.

Last year on his 110 birthday he told the Independent that he nearly did not return: "I nearly didn't come back from Burma, I was under shell fire so often.

"The second-in-command of our regiment was a friend and he was in the same trench with me when the shells were coming over. I said, 'What are you going to do when they come here?' He said: 'I'll lay about them with this kukri' – that's a Gurkha knife. Luckily, he didn't have to."

Jiroemon Kimura world's oldest man is 115

Jiroemon Kimura, the world's oldest man was given the honour by Guinness World Records for reaching the age of 115 years 253 days.

He became the world's oldest man on 17th December 2012 after Dina Manfredini (from the US) passed away aged 115 years, 257 days.

Jiroemon Kimura, who lives in Kyotango City, Kyoto, was born on 19th April 1897 and is only the third man in history to reach 115 years old.

Britain's oldest man dies aged 110

Britain's oldest man has died, aged 110 years and 63 days, friends have said.

Reg Dean, a former United Reform Church minister, died on Saturday, according to an announcement by the Dalesmen Male Voice Choir in Derbyshire.

Reg Dean on his last birthday in November last year

He was the choir's life president, and helped to found the group in the 1980s.

Mr Dean, a former Army chaplain and teacher, survived two World Wars and witnessed 24 British prime ministers come and go.

He was born in Tunstall, Staffordshire, on November 4 1902, and became Britain's oldest man in June 2010 after the death of Stanley Lucas, 110, of Cornwall.