Hundreds of people have lined the streets of Brighton today to pay their last respects to WWI veteran Henry Allingham, whose funeral is taking place at St Nicholas’ Church, in Dyke Road.

Mr Allingham was the world's oldest man at 113 when he passed away on July 18.

The funeral procession left St Dunstan’s Centre for blind ex-service men and women in Ovingdean, where Mr Allingham lived, at 11.15am before heading along the seafront where people lined the streets to say goodbye to the soldier.

Among the guests were Mr Allingham's estranged daughter Betty Hankin, who he had not spoken to in 40 years, as well as long time friend Dennis Goodwin and the Duchess of Gloucester.

Inside the packed 14th Century St Nicholas Church in Brighton mourners heard he "blew the dust off the history books" and enriched many people's lives.

Air Vice Marshal Peter Dye said: "Henry will be remembered, not just for what he represented as one of the last World War One veterans, but for who he was.

"An ordinary man but an extraordinary human being. It was a pleasure to know Henry but a privilege to call him my friend."

Vice Admiral Sir Adrian Johns said: "Henry blew the dust off the history books for us, gave us an insight into our heritage and reminded us of our roots and those who have gone before us."

He said many would remember Mr Allingham's humility, humour, integrity and the fighting spirit he embodied.

Mr Allingham's grandson, David Gray, shared precious childhood memories of his grandfather with the congregation.

He recalled the moment he saw his 93-year-old grandfather arrive at Miami airport pushing a younger member of airline staff in his wheelchair.

He said: "That was classic Henry, always a twinkle in his eye and always ready to pull your leg."

Speaking of his grandfather's generosity, he said: "His love for children and desire to let them benefit from his life experience was the major focus of his final years."

Gema Bridger, 42, from Littlehampton, was one of the hundreds who lined the streets to see the procession go past the Palace Pier.

She told The Argus: "How many of us are going to live until 113? He went through two world wars and today is a day that will go down in history."

Tina Davies, 62, travelled from Eastleigh, near Southampton, to pay her respects to Mr Allingham.

She said: "He was a wonderful, wonderful man - very brave."

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Guests at the funeral included Veterans' Minister Kevan Jones, the incoming Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, Commander in Chief Fleet of the Royal Navy Admiral Sir Trevor Soar and the Duchess of Gloucester, as patron of the First World War Veterans' Association.

Dennis Goodwin, founder and chair of the First World War Veterans' Association, said: "I will never be able to forget him. I have been to many veterans' funerals but this is most special because it coincides with the end of an era."

Three Royal Navy and three RAF personnel acted as pall bearers to reflect Mr Allingham's service with both.

His medals were carried by his great-grandsons, Michael Gray, a Petty Officer 3rd Class in the United States Navy, and Brent Gray, a Petty Officer 2nd Class in the US Navy. These medals include the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the Legion d'Honneur.

Two military buglers from the Royal Marines sounded the Last Post and there was a fly-past of five replica First World War aircraft including three SE5A biplanes, a Sopwith Pup and Sopwith Triplane.

The planes hold special significance because Mr Allingham worked on each of the airframes during his service with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm and subsequently the RAF.

The church bell then tolled 113 times.