Who are the oldest men in Great Britain?

As of June 2019, there are currently two men who hold the title of the British supercentenarian.

They are Mr Alfred Smith from St Madoes in Perthshire, and Mr Bob Weighton from Alton in Hampshire.

They were both born on 29 March 1908. However it is not known which one of them was born first.

They gained this title after the previous oldest living man John Mansfield passed away on 27 November 2016, he was aged 108 years and 349 days.

Mr Robert Grant Pitts “Bob” Weighton was born in Kingston-upon-Hull in Yorkshire and he was one of seven children. His father scraped together to pay an extra £3 a term to enable him to stay on at school until he was 16 years old which meant he could take up a marine engineering apprenticeship.

Once he’d qualified, Mr Weighton moved to Taiwan and took a post to teach at a missionary school, although he first spent two years in Japan learning the language.

In 1937, Bob married Agnes, who was also a teacher, they’d known each other since studying together in England. They were married in Hong Kong and afterwards they returned to Taiwan.

Their first child, David was born and soon after they decided to return to Great Britain in 1939. However, they were diverted to Toronto in Canada as the Second World War broke out. When they lived in Canada, Bob and Agnes had two more children, and named them Peter and Dorothy.

Bob Weighton moved to Connecticut in the United States and worked in a factory that made aeroplanes for Britain in their fight to win the war.

He also worked closely with the American Secret Service and later moved to Washington, before returning to England after the war was won. He then took a teaching position at City University in London.

The couple finally moved to Alton in 1973 were Agnes sadly passed away in 1995. Bob’s son, Peter, also passed away in 2014.

It is noted that in 2016, Weighton has 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren and his other son David and daughter Dorothy.

Mr Weighton is celebrating his birthday by officially launching a book of poems he’s written which will raise funds for the elderly people in Alton.

Mr Weighton said the most common question he’s asked is about the secret of his longevity. He jokingly replies simply “to avoid dying”.

The UK’s other oldest man is Mr Alfred Smith, better known as Alf, he was born in Invergowrie, in Perth and Kinross. He was the fifth of six sons born to John and Jessie Smith. He attended Invergowrie Primary School and Harris Academy and left at the age of 14 years old.

He emigrated to Canada with his eldest brother in 1927, but returned to Scotland to help run the family farm in Kinfauns after the death of his father.

Whilst he was farming he married Isobel Harper in 1937 and they went on to have two children, named Irene and Allan. Mr Smith also served with the Home Guard during the Second World War.

Allan sadly passed away in 2016 and following the death of Isobel in 2003, aged 97 years old, Smith lived alone in his St Madoes home. However, he now lives with his daughter following a fall he sustained in 2016.

He has been asked what his secret for his longevity is and his reply is “Porridge is helpful and having a job you enjoy”.

Both Mr Alf Smith and Mr Bob Weighton spent part of their lives living in Canada.

These two men have never met but recently they have started to exchange birthday cards.

Sadly since this was written, Scotland’s oldest man, Alf Smith passed away in August 2019, aged 111.

Feature Image is Alf Smith