WALES' oldest man who lived in Wrexham has sadly died, aged 106.

Geoffrey Walker Patrick, from Llay, took the mantle of the oldest man in Wales in November 2020.

Geoffrey, or Geoff as he was better know, was a veteran of the Second World War, having served in the Royal Army Service Corps - where he spent three and a half years of the war on the front line of the North African Campaign.

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He was involved in the Battle of Monte Cassino - one of the most harrowing and bloody incidents of the war where Allied forces suffered heavy losses.

The battle began in January and was to last for four months. Monte Cassino, a historic hilltop abbey, was occupied by German forces. Its capture came at a high cost, with 55,000 Allied casualties.

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Later, he worked as a skilled joiner, eventually becoming a foreman and then a manager with Holland, Hannen & Cubitts which was taken over by Tarmac Group Ltd in 1976.

Geoff's age, and his heroics during the Second World War, made him somewhat of a celebrity in Llay - where he was known as 'Uncle Geoff'.

He was "really pleased" and "proud" to have been the oldest man in Wales, and was insistent that his longevity was down to "four good meals a day".

The National Wales: Geoff arriving in style with his wife Jean for his 100th birthday party at the Golden Lion, RossettGeoff arriving in style with his wife Jean for his 100th birthday party at the Golden Lion, Rossett

Tributes have been paid to him following his death on Sunday. 

His great niece, Joanna Price, said: "Uncle Geoff has been there for so many people for so long, it’s really hard to imagine the world without him in it.

"He was a legend, well known for his cheeky sense of humour and his storytelling. He was at his best when he was entertaining an audience and making people laugh.

"He helped so many people over the years in so many ways, and it has been wonderful knowing how many friends and neighbours have loved and cared for him when he eventually needed the help, particularly in more recent times, and of course during the last months in Bay Tree House.

"As a family, we have always been so proud of him."

In September last year, Geoff was handed the 'key' to the village of Llay - the first resident to ever receive the honour.

Joanna said: "We know he was extremely proud to receive the 'Key to the Village of Llay' award. We are grateful to the Llay Community Council and the people of Llay for making that happen last year. It was a really special moment.

"He was born during the First World War and fought in the Second World War, so we have also lost another link with an important part of history. Everyone who met him has been left with memories that will always bring a smile, he was just that sort of man."

The National Wales: Geoff being handed the key to the village of Llay. Geoff being handed the key to the village of Llay.

Llay councillor, Rob Walsh, added: "It was a great honour to be present last September when Geoff was awarded the 'Key To The Village Of Llay' for service longevity and service to our country.

This award meant everything to him and Geoff's family are so grateful for the support of the village that enabled him to receive this honour.

"Rest in peace, Geoff, you have done us all proud."