Sadness as Britain’s oldest man Alf Smith dies

Britain’s joint oldest man, Alf Smith, has passed away aged 111 and 128 days.

On his 111th birthday earlier this year, Mr Smith, from St Madoes in Perthsire, Scotland, said ‘porridge and a good sense of humour’ are the secrets behind a long life.

Mr Smith shared his birthday, 29 March 1908, with Bob Weighton. They sent each other cards every year, making them Britain’s oldest pen pals.

Tributes have poured in following Mr Smith’s death.

Perth councilor Eric Drysdale wrote on Twitter: ‘Sad to hear this morning that Scotland’s oldest man, Perth and Kinross based Alf Smith of St Madoes has passed way aged 111 years and 128 days.

‘When he was 100 he bought a new washing machine and decided on a 10 year extended warranty!

‘Optimism seems to be the key to a long life.’

In their most recent letter exchange, Mr Weighton, from Alton, Hampshire, wrote to Mr Smith: ‘One more year goes by and I hope you are both well and able to enjoy the celebrations.’

He added: ‘Do keep in touch, I wish we but had known about each other earlier,’ before signing off: ‘We did it’.

It is not known which of the duo, who lived through two world wars, 29 general elections and in two millenniums, was born first.

Mr Smith’s daughter, Ms Noble, said earlier this year: ‘He always has his porridge and says that’s what keeps him going. He stopped smoking at 80, so that helped too.’

Last year, Mr Smith was presented with a bottle of whisky from Perth and Kinross Council.

‘He doesn’t drink now,’ said Ms Noble. ‘Last year, I walked into the kitchen and I could hear this glugging noise from the living room.

‘I came back through and found he had opened the bottle himself and taken a wee swig.’

Mr Smith was the fifth of six sons of John and Jessie Smith.

He emigrated to Canada, along with four of his brothers in 1927, but returned after five years and went on to drive lorries for his brother George.

During the Second World War, he was in the Home Guard and married Isobel when he was 29.

Bob Weighton, who is now Britain’s oldest man all by himself, has put his longevity down to being one of ‘life’s survivors’.