BBC News

Hampshire's Bob Weighton set to be named world's oldest man

Published
media caption"The secret to long life is to avoid dying" says England's oldest man.

A 111-year-old former teacher and engineer from Hampshire is set to be confirmed as the world's oldest man.

Bob Weighton, who was born on 29 March 1908, is expected to be named as the new record-holder following the death of 112-year-old Chitetsu Watanabe.

The Japanese supercentenarian died on Sunday, just days after being awarded a Guinness World Records certificate.

Mr Weighton, from Alton, said: "I don't really feel satisfied because it means someone else has died."

image copyrightGuinness World Records
image captionChitetsu Watanabe served in the military towards the end of World War Two

A spokesman for Guinness World Records said it was currently investigating the title for the oldest living man following the death of Mr Watanabe.

"Further information will follow soon upon confirmation of the next record-holder," the spokesman said.

image copyrightPA
image captionMr Weighton has been alive during the reign of five monarchs and the rule of 22 prime ministers

Mr Weighton, who grew up in Hull, said: "I just accept it as a fact. It's not something I ever intended, wanted or worked for but it's just one of those facts of life.

"You might find it amazing but it's just one of those things."

He was formerly both England's oldest man and Britain's joint oldest man until Alfred Smith, from St Madoes, Perthshire, who shared the same birthday, died last summer.

Mr Weighton shares the title of Britain's oldest person with Joan Hocquard, from Poole, Dorset - she, Mr Weighton and Mr Smith were all born on 29 March 1908.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionMr Weighton, one of seven children, was born in Hull

Mr Weighton, who worked as an engineer, spending time in Taiwan, Japan and Canada, now lives in a flat in a care complex at Alton.

He married his wife Agnes in 1937 and has two sons and a daughter, 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Mr Weighton previously told the BBC: "I have not lived my life avoiding being run over by buses or getting cancer or anything else.

"I've done nothing to deserve or achieve this age. I'm just one of the lucky ones."

You may also be interested in:

He said money has never been important to him, adding: "I think laughter is extremely important.

"Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people taking themselves too seriously."

He said the secret to his longevity was "to avoid dying".

There are about 50 women who are older than Britain's record-holders - the world's oldest living person is 117-year-old Kane Tanaka.

1908

image copyrightLibrary of Congress
  • Edward VII was on the throne
  • Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman was succeeded by fellow Liberal HH Asquith as British prime minster, while Theodore Roosevelt was US president
  • Explorer Ernest Shackleton returned to Antarctica on board his ship Nimrod to trek towards the South Pole
  • Robert Baden-Powell published Scouting for Boys, which kick-started the worldwide Boy Scout movement
  • The Olympics Games were held in London - the first of three times the Games would be staged in the UK during Mr Weighton's lifetime
  • Production of the Ford Model T began
  • The Wright brothers demonstrated their powered flying machine for the first time in Europe

Related Topics

  • Poole
  • Elderly people
  • Alton
  • Hull
  • World records

More on this story

  • UK's oldest woman Hilda Clulow dies aged 111

  • England's oldest man Bob Weighton is 111 today