Timothy the tortoise

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                                                                                                                                                            WAR HERO TORTOISE DIES...He served in the Crimean war before retiring to a life in the countryside.Now, at the ripe old age of around 160, Britain's likely oldest resident - Timothy the tortoise - has died. Timothy's retirement has been a particularly long one, about a century shuffling around the gardens of Powderham Castle in Devon, southwest England. Tim Faulkner, general manager at Powderham, said the venerable tortoise had passed away at some point over the weekend. He added: "He had been quite frail lately so it was no great surprise, but we are all very upset. He has always been part of the furniture." The pet of several Earls of Devon, the tortoise would hibernate during the winter in the castle's rose garden, bearing the written tag: "My name is Timothy. I am very old - please do not pick me up." However before joining the family in 1892 Timothy had led a particularly active, if not heroic life for a tortoise. He was a mascot on British naval ship HMS Queen, which bombarded Sebastopol in 1854 during the siege of the city - now called Sevastopol, in Ukraine - as part of the Crimean War. Timothy later saw active service in both the East Indies and China, naval historian Captain George Cardew told the Daily Telegraph newspaper. "This entitled Timothy to both service medals.  It was typical of the tortoise's modesty that he chose not to wear them," Cardew said. Even when retired to a stately home, Timothy had one surprise left for his owners. An attempt to mate him in 1926 ended in failure, after which it was established that Timothy was female. He is even rumoured to have hit the hard stuff once - getting drunk on a mix of castor oil and azalea blossom.