War veteran Geoffrey Walker Patrick has recently become the oldest known man in Wales.
Mr Patrick, 105, lives in Llay in Wrexham with his wife Jean, and is well-known in the community.
Yorkshire-born Geoff served in the army as a young man, and was involved in one of the bloodiest battles in history.
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The Battle of Monte Cassino lasted four months in 1944. The victory of the allied forces in this battle came at a cost of 55,000 lives.
After he retired from the army, Mr Patrick worked as a joiner, a trade which he learnt while working with his father, an undertaker.
He has been with his wife, Jean, for 74 years.
Mr Patrick said his secret to a long and healthy life is “to be active, work hard and eat four good meals a day with no junk food”.
Reflecting on his life he said: “I have learnt to always be pleasant, cheerful and friendly to people, and not get into arguments because arguing gets you nowhere.”
He added: “Try to have some fun.”
Mr Patrick is a WWII veteran
Mr Patrick’s great-niece, Joanna Price, said that guests are always leaving his house smiling and laughing.
She said: “He jokes that he should start charging £5 per autograph because of how famous he is in the area. He is still so sharp, and always wants to make a joke.
“He has stayed so active throughout his life. Even at age 93, he built a TV corner unit himself which still sits in the house now. He was still driving up to his late 90s – he is just so independent – they both are.
“They are so used to having a busy social life that the last 18 months have been so hard for them.
“We are a very close-knit family and he has always been an integral part of that. We obviously haven’t seen much of him and my auntie in the last 18 months, but I am looking forward to dropping in more now.
“They are just a remarkable couple.”
Geoff and his wife, Jean, at his 100th birthday party in 2016.
Mr Patrick says that he is “really pleased” to become the oldest man in Wales, and is already looking forward to his birthday next year. He plans to have a big celebration which he missed out on this year due to coronavirus restrictions.
Llay councillor Rob Walsh said: “I have know Geoff for a long time. He is a great man and he is very interesting to listen to. I always enjoy visiting him.
“He still has such a sharp mind at age 105, and I know I speak on behalf of Llay when I say that Geoff is a credit to the village.”
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