Is this Leeds man the oldest in Britain?

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He is thought to be among the oldest people in Leeds, having lived through two World Wars and seen the face of the city transformed since 1912.

And veteran Thomas Woodcock celebrated his 106th birthday in style as staff at the Home Lea House care home, where he lives, organised a party for the remarkable milestone.

Thomas Woodcock. PIC: Tony Johnson

Thomas Woodcock. PIC: Tony Johnson

Friends, family, staff and fellow residents packed into the Wood Lane home as around 40 people joined in with the birthday bash.

In recognition of the milestone, Coun Graham Latty, Lord Mayor of Leeds, attended the party.

Speaking after the birthday bash, Thomas, from Rothwell, told the YEP: “I had a really good time.

“I enjoyed dancing and it was wonderful.”

The home had also arranged for a singer, Terry Williams, to perform during the party, playing retro ballads and war-time songs. Thomas even threw some shapes of his own, taking party-goers by surprise with his dance moves.

He was joined at the party by his daughter Margaret, son-in-law Barry, and grandson, John Schofield.

Mrs Schofield said: “It was really lovely and Thomas had a great time.

“He was still buzzing about it when I went to see him [yesterday].”

She described how Thomas still keeps active, taking part in exercise at least two times a day, which means he can still bust a move.

“He just picks up his Zimmer frame and goes for it,” Mrs Schofield added.

Mrs Schofield also praised staff at the care home for the way they look after her dad.

“The home is amazing,” she said.

“All the staff are so friendly and my dad is so well looked-after. I know when I come away that he is being looked after properly.”

Born in Mill Hill, Rothwell, Thomas attended the nearby Rothwell Church School.

He began working at Rothwell Colliery after leaving school aged 16, and later served in the Second World War with the Searchlight Regiment in Germany for six years.

Thomas told of how, as his comrades left Germany, he remained to undergo an operation on a hernia.

When he returned to Leeds, Thomas spent the rest of his working life plying his trade at Rothwell Colliery. He also spent one year working at Rothwell’s Girlingstone Concrete Works site.


Staff believe Thomas Woodcock could be among the oldest in the city.

They traced another woman, also 106, but Thomas is thought to be the oldest-surviving man in the city.

Anne Churchward, a senior care assistant at the care home, said: “From what we can work out, we think he is the oldest man in Leeds. It’s an amazing achievement. I have worked here for 30 years and Thomas is the oldest person we have had in the time. He remembers everything. He’s a love.”