Sir Paul Nuttall, VC, OBE, Ph.D, passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday, hours before his 108th birthday.

Sir Paul was the first man to swim the Channel underwater (he did it for a bet shortly before graduating from Oxford with a double first in Social Anthropology and Interpretative Dance). His doctorate, awarded for his groundbreaking research into advanced cockwomblery, formed the basis for the Nobel Prize he won in 1927. He joined the army in 1928, working his way up from the ranks to become a Field Marshal in 1947. He won the Victoria Cross when he single handedly wiped out an entire German Panzer Division armed with nothing but a tooth brush.

Nuttall liked to remain on the sidelines – as head of MI6 just after the war he diffused tension with the Communist government in Russia and was responsible for preventing several nuclear holocausts. He was always diffidently modest about his security service and war work. He was knighted in 1953 for services to bigotry and was a founding member of The Royal Society of Cockwombles.

He will be one of the few Englishmen to be awarded a state funeral. His body will lie in state in Westminster Hall before being interred at the Abbey.

A bronze statue has already been commissioned.

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