When we met at his home in central
London he told me his latest paper had just been published in a medical
journey only this month. I started by asking him if he thought he was a
because of his jeans or because he worked at it?
My old age is due to luck. The reason I have not died is
because I have been so close to death but every time I have just
missed it. I think that is the reason I am so lucky to be alive.
Do you still practice now, do you see
patients? I am not allowed
officially to see patients. Various very grateful patients still come
and I see them but there is always a doctor there and I am only gossiping
with them. You actually got to work
for the last two years of his life with Alexander Fleming, the
discoverer of penicillin. I had to
see him every day Monday to Friday at ten o’clock to talk about award
he was technically in charge but was completely uninterested in clinical
medicine and we talked about all sorts of things. I should have
written a book about what we did talk about but I never have.
If you don’t mind me saying you are the
oldest person I have ever spoken to and I am wondering, you were born
during just the build-up to the First World War, can you remember
anything from the First World War? Yes, I can remember receiving
postcards from my father from Egypt. My father coming back from the war,
just before the war finished, I remember great job location of my
mother — the great happiness of my mother and all the kerfuffle that
went on because he was back and had survived France and everything else.
Your own war took you to a point where you were a prisoner of war of
the Japanese. Where was that? Yes, I
was taken prisoner of war in Singapore on the 15th of February
1942 and I remember that, strangely, although I was on the outskirts of
Singapore, I think there were three planes came over and dropped what
are now called small bombs but I remember it’s the only time in my
life I got under my bed because I could hear it swishing down.
In our own times you actually met Saddam
Hussein. I had never heard of him.
But what was interesting about him of course, he was on desensitising
injections for his asthma and allergy. By all definitions of
allergy and asthma, he had neither but he wasn’t sleeping, eating or
praying he was smoking a cigarette so he was smoking over 40 cigarettes
a day and that was what was wrong with him. He was the most grateful
patient I have ever had as far as I was concerned he was a very pleasant
patient. You said as a child you
played with nature, there were no televisions radios, mobile phones or
computers. We entertained ourselves,
I remember the first ever radio I heard aged ten at a prep school and
I thought it was marvellous, sending noise through the air. The main
difference as I see it is now that everyone is organised to do all
sorts of things with all the modern technology and so on, in my day,
certainly when I was young, we organise ourselves.
Do you have a mobile phone?
No. Do you watch
television? I watch a lot of
television. Do you have a computer?
Yarde no, no, no. Gosh. How long do you think you want to live?
I don’t know, I have dealt with death so
much myself. Would you describe
yourself as happy? Yes, I’m very
happy. I never get depressed. When I was a prisoner of war for three and
a half years and came back here I decided I would start a new life and
I never told my wife for children about being a prisoner of war. It
was part of my life which was not very pleasant and I was not going to
think about it again. It’s been a
privilege to talk to you, thank you very much indeed for talking to us.
Good. 105 and still going strong.
Tonights main news, no Conservative MPs will face criminal charges in
knowledge and two elections bending rules in relation to the 20 15th
battle bus campaign after the CPS said it was not in the public
interest. And more on President Trump firing James Comey as FBI
director, tonight the White House has claimed Mr Trump had considered
sacking him since the day he was elected saying there had been an
erosion of confidence. The Senate intelligence committee has asked
James Comey to appear before a hearing next week. That is Channel 4
News, good evening. The weather has been pretty good for
many of us today, it’s been mostly dry with a mixture of cloud and
sunshine but things will change for the end of the week as low pressure
arrives, showers or longer spells of rain drifting north but it will feel
start warmer with the wind coming from the side. Through this evening
and overnight lots of cloud for Northern Scotland and a few spots of
rain, heavy showers maybe even the odd rumble of shower for southern
parts of England and Wales but for the rest of us in between its dry
with clear skies and the odd patch of fog. Chile in the countryside,
luckily a touch of frost, many towns and cities seen temperatures in the
range of 5-10°. Tomorrow for England and Wales heavy showers in the south
which will drift north, then drier and brighter and more showers coming
into southern areas by the end of the afternoon. For Scotland and
Northern Ireland it’s a lovely day with a mixture of cloud and
sunshine, staying largely dry as well. This is the picture in more
detail, 4pm, dark blue appearing across the channel islands into
south-west England, more showers and thunderstorms arriving, further
north across England and Wales mostly dry with a mixture of cloud
and sunshine. One to showers for the Midlands, North West England and
into Wales as well. The best of the sunshine between showers, one
tomorrow, temperatures as high as 20 or 21. By the time we get to Friday,
more cloud, low-pressure drifting, showers and longer spells of rain
drifting north, fairly mixed to the weekend as well, enjoy your weekend,
take care, goodbye.