The oldest person in Britain – born in 1908 during the reign of Edward VII – died at the age of 112.
Joan Hookward died at her home in Poole, Dorset, According to her 74-year-old nephew, Paul Reynolds.
In an independent spirit, Mrs. Hawkward rejected her 100th birthday card from The Queen in 2008 because she did not want people to know how old she was.
Coincidentally, she shared her birthday on March 29 with Bob Wheaton, the former world’s oldest man, who passed away at the age of 112 in May.
Her nephew Mr. Reynolds described her as coming from “a very good family” and said that his aunt was born in a large home in Holland Park in Kensington, London.
Her father was a colonial officer who was in charge of shipping in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, so her childhood was spent among Kenya with her parents and grandmother in Lymington, Hampshire.
As an adult, she spent nine years working as a chef at a French hotel near Geneva, where Reynolds says she developed a love for rich food.
He said: She liked to eat butter and cream and did not believe in dieting.
She also drove ambulances in London during World War II, before marrying her husband Gilbert and moving to the south coast.
The couple met through their shared love of sailing, traveling, driving across the continent in a van and yachting vacations until Gilbert’s death in 1981.
Later in the 1980s, Hawkward met her second partner, Widower Kenneth Bedford, who was 20 years her junior.
The couple met together at the Bournemouth Gramophone Association and have lived happily together ever since.
Praising his aunt, Mr. Reynolds said, “She had extraordinary roles and passed away peacefully in her home, which is all she could wish for.
“She was a strong-willed character who loved telling stories of how miserable she was as a schoolgirl.
She was also a very hospitable and loyal person. She always strived to live life to the fullest.
“There is no secret to her long life. I think she has good genes.”
Lillian Priest, 111, from Swanage, Dorset, is now the oldest person alive in Britain.
Charlotte Hughes was the oldest British person from Marsky in Cleveland, and died in 1993 at the age of 115 years and 228 days.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the oldest living woman ever was French Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122 years and 164 days.