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Longest serving POW dies at 98

The man thought to be the oldest surviving and longest-serving British prisoner of war has died aged 98. Alfie Fripp died in hospital in Bournemouth earlier today surrounded by his family.

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'Longest-serving' POW will now 'light up heaven'

Alfie Fripp, at the inner perimeter fence at Stalag Luft III in Zagan, Poland on the 65th anniversary of the Great Escape. Credit: Ministry of Defence/PA Wire

His niece Patricia Fripp announced her uncle's death on Facebook.

She wrote: "For the friends of Uncle Bill, AKA Alfie. He passed away this morning surrounded by his family. He never complained, was always cheerful and will light up Heaven."

Mr Fripp spent almost all of the Second World War in captivity after his plane was shot down by the Luftwaffe in 1939.

Casting his mind back to the fateful day in 1939 when they were shot down, he added: "We were forced to hedge-hop at six feet to avoid being attacked again by a Messerschmitt in a cloudless sky. We crash landed after colliding with the treetops."

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