A great-grandad from Wearside has reached the amazing milestone of his 111th birthday – weeks after he almost passed away as he battled illness.
Nazar Singh, of Ashbrooke, who is thought to be Britain’s oldest man, has been in his native India since the beginning of this year.
Mr Singh receives a letter and phone call from the Department for Work and Pensions each birthday to see how he is.
Mr Singh’s son, Chain Singh Gill, spoke of his and the rest of the family’s concern when his father became unwell just a few weeks ago.
“He’s been in India since January 16 and took bad as well,” said Mr Gill, who visited his dad during a month-long trip earlier this year.
“We thought we had lost him about three weeks ago, because he had an infection.
“But, thankfully, he is recovering now.
“He’s happy sitting with his two older sons and daughters in law, as they look after him.” Mr Singh was born in the village of Gill in India on June 8, 1904, and has lived through two World Wars, mass floods and malaria outbreaks.
He moved to Walsall in the 1960s to work as foundry moulder before retiring in Sunderland in 1989.
His wife, Naranjan Kaur, lived to the age of 90 but died more than a decade ago.
They have nine children, 34 grandchildren and now, 64 great-grandchildren. Mr Singh credits his father’s longevity to a healthy lifestyle and a daily tot of whisky.
“It’s the care he gets and the food he eats that is most important,” added Mr Gill, who gave up working in several of his businesses to care for his dad.
“He doesn’t eat junk food and that’s what has kept him alive.
“I’m in contact with him sometimes twice, every single day on the phone and he’s in good spirits.”