It’s official: Kirkcaldy veteran Jimmy Sinclair is the oldest living person in Scotland.
The 107-year-old war hero marked his birthday on Sunday.
He was congratulated by family friend councillor Carol Lindsay, Fife Deputy Lord Lieutenant Jim Kinloch, and David Torrance MSP.
Despite the high number of birthdays he’s witnessed, Jimmy isn’t too concerned about age.
“I don’t feel old, I still feel young,” he laughs.
“It was a busy day. I was highly delighted. It was a great feeling to have everybody wish me a happy birthday.”
And his secret to long life is a very traditional Scottish diet.
“I have my porridge in the morning and I have the occasional whisky.”
Jimmy also likes to keep his mind busy by writing poetry. He has led a remarkable life; he is the last remaining Desert Rat and the last surviving Scottish soldier who served in the 7th Armoured Division alongside Field Marshall Montgomery.
He served in a number of notable battles, including the siege of Tobrok, Monte Cassino and El Alamein.
After the war, Jimmy struck up a friendship with the son of the leader of the African-based German forces that he spent years fighting against – Erwin Rommel, and spent several years corresponding with Manfred Rommel until his death in 2013.
“He was a true friend of mine,” said Jimmy. “He was a proper gentleman.”
Even now, the Fife veteran still keeps contact with friends in Germany.
Jimmy also counts Prince Charles and his wife Camilla as friends, having met them on several occasions.
Camilla’s father Bruce Shand also served in Africa as a British Army officer.
The Duchess of Cornwall, the Queen, and Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, were among those to send their congratulations.
Carol Lindsay said Jimmy’s secret may lie in his easy-going nature.
“His family say he’s never really been one to get stressed out.
“When you’ve seen what Jimmy has and lived through the war, it’s bound to put things into perspective.
It could be the secret to his longevity. That and the occasional dram.
David Torrance said: “It’s always a pleasure to meet Jimmy and his family. He is so full of life and happiness and positivity, and is always cracking jokes and making everybody laugh.
“I love spending time with him, listening to his incredible stories from a life well-lived.
“I look forward every year to celebrating his birthday every with him, his family and friends and I look forward to celebrating 108 years with him next year!”