Gerontology Wiki
Reg Dean
Reg Dean
Birth: 4 November 1902
Tunstall, Staffordshire, England, UK
Death: 5 January 2013
Wirksworth, Derbyshire, England, UK
Age: 110 years, 62 days
Country: United Kingdom UK

Thomas Reginald "Reg" Dean (4 November 1902 – 5 January 2013)[1] was a British supercentenarian. Dean was the oldest living man in the United Kingdom after the death of 108-year-old Edward Anderson on 22 March 2011. Dean was, at the time of his death, aged 110, the sixth oldest British man ever.


Thomas Reginald Dean was born in Tunstall, Staffordshire, England, UK on 4 November 1902.[1][2] Dean was ordained as a minister in the 1920s. He worked as an assistant chaplain in Singapore in the 1930s.[3] He served as an army chaplain in Burma and India[4] during World War II.[2][5][6] After his return to the United Kingdom, Dean moved to Derby in 1947,[3] and in 1958 he became a teacher, and worked as such in Belper in Derbyshire for ten years.[2]

Dean was a minister at the United Reformed Churches in Wirksworth and Matlock,[4][7] and retired from the ministry at the age of 80.[1] He was an enthusiastic actor, singer, and amateur dramatist[5] and in 1987,[6] he helped found the Dalesmen Male Voice Choir, of which he was life president. Dean supported Fair trade and he helped create Traid Links, in Wirksworth.


Dean was married three times.[3] His first wife went into the cellar of a house where she was staying in for a short period of time and the other people in the house accidentally locked her in this cellar, making her unable to get out and causing her to die of hypothermia.[3] His third wife, Anne, was a colleague of his; they later divorced.[3] Anne is still alive today and later remarried.[3] Dean had a son named Christopher, born in either 1949 or 1950. He also had two grandchildren. Christopher Dean leads the Syd Lawrence Orchestra. One of his nephews was television presenter Nick Owen.

Possible reasons for longevity

Dean was a vegetarian for thirty years. He attributed his vegetarianism, in addition to being lazy,[8] having good friends and a religion, and looking for the best in people, as the secret to his longevity.[2] Dean lived independently until 2007/2008, when he moved into a flat in Derbyshire.[5] He also mentioned just before his 110th birthday that when he lived in Mumbai just before World War I,[8] a doctor gave him a mysterious brown elixir ("this muddy mixture", as Dean called it)[8] and told him that "if [he would] drink this [he] will live forever" or that if he would "drink this [he'll] live until at least 100".[8]

On every birthday since his 100th, Dean began wearing a flower on his lapel.[5] Apart from sight problems,[5] Dean said at his 108th birthday that he was still in good health.[2] On his 109th birthday, Dean joked that "[he] thought [the Queen had] forgotten [him]" when his birthday telegram from the Queen that year arrived late.[5] Dean said on his 109th birthday that he still hoped to live to his 110th birthday next year,[6] which he did. However, he was unable to attend a celebratory concert held the previous evening, and also had to receive his cake in bed due to not feeling well recently.[1]

He said on his 110th birthday that he thought that he would reach age 111 next year and (perhaps jokingly) that he might be able to reach ages 115,[3] 120,[9] and 130.[8] Dean died in January 2013, just two months after his 110th birthday. Dean was succeeded as the United Kingdom's oldest living man by 109-year-old Ralph Tarrant.[10]



United Kingdom's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (VE)

George Stanforth • John Mosley Turner • John Leng • Frederick Butterfield • James Harrow • Ernest Oxley • Harry Durrant • Arthur Emanuel • James Sellers • Walter Sandford • George Simms • Henry Norman • John Orton • Alfred Grant • John Evans • Samuel Crabbe • Joseph Randle • Jesse Yewdall • William Proctor • David Davies • Vinson Gulliver • David Henderson • Harry Halford • William Lee • Frederick Moore • Harry Laverick • Jerzy Pajaczkowski-Dydynski • Henry Allingham • Harry Patch • Stanley Lucas • Edward Anderson • Reg Dean • Ralph Tarrant • Harold Bracher • Frank Simes • John Mansfield • Alf Smith • Bob Weighton • Harry Fransman • John Tinniswood