British couple are oldest in the world to divorce at age 98 - but man dies before he can enjoy the single life By Luke Salkeld A British man and his wife have become the oldest couple in the world to divorce – at the age of 98. Bertie and Jessie Wood got a decree absolute to end their 36-year marriage when they were both two years away from their 100th birthdays. Both had been married before when they wed in Elstree, Hertfordshire, in 1972. They moved to Falmouth, Cornwall, four years later, but by 2008 the relationship was over. OAP divorce: Bertie and Jessie Wood split at age 98 (picture posed by models) Both were 97 at the time and it is unclear why their marriage failed although a decree absolute is believed to have been granted subsequently. According to neighbours of the former couple, Mrs Wood now lives in a care home. Mr Wood, however, died shortly before he turned 99. Mrs Wood's daughter Pauline Rowe, 65, refused to discuss the split. 'It's too hurtful to talk about,' she told the News of The World. Terence Wood, Mr Wood's son from his first marriage, also refused to comment on the marriage break-up, which prompted divorce expert Francine Kaye to say: 'At that age you'd think you'd find some way of getting on with each other.' But to prove romance is not dead in the West Country, in the neighbouring county of Devon last month, a couple married at the combined age of 181 to become Britain's oldest newlyweds. Les Atwell, 94, and Sheila Walsh, 87, married in a quiet ceremony attended by family and friends. They met four years ago, introduced by Mr Atwell's cleaner. His new wife explained: 'His cleaner told me about Les and I thought he sounded nice but then she told me he's 90 and I thought "oh no, I'm not so sure". 'But when we met, that was it. It was love at first sight.' The couple, who live in Paignton, went on a two week Mediterranean cruise for their honeymoon, stopping off in Athens, Rome and Barcelona. James Mason, 93, and his wife Peggy, 85, also from Paignton, shortly held the title of the country's oldest newlyweds after they married in 2007. The world record is held by French couple Francois Fernandez, then 96, and Madeleine Francineau, then 94. who married in 2002.