Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

Britain's oldest woman dies aged 112

Britain’s oldest person has died in a care home at the age of 112, her family have confirmed.

Joan Hocquard, who was born on March 29 1908, died in Dorset on Saturday, her nephew Paul Reynolds said. He stated that his aunt had previously said there was no secret to long life, and enjoyed ‘butter and cream’ and ‘scoffed at idea of dieting’.

She coincidentally shared the same birthday with the world’s oldest man, Bob Weighton, who died at the age of 112 in May. The world’s oldest woman is Japanese pensioner Kane Tanaka, who is 117.

Mrs Hocquard’s father was a British colonial officer and as a young girl she lived in Kisumu, Kenya, with her family. She went on to attend boarding school in Sussex and worked in a French hotel near Geneva as a cook.

During the start of the Second World War she drove an ambulance in London and later moved to the south coast, where she became a keen sailor.

She met her husband Gilbert Hocquard, who also shared her love of sailing, when he tied his boat up to hers. He died in 1981 and she later moved from Canford Cliffs to Lilliput, in the Poole area.

In 1987, she met a widower Kenneth Bedford at the Bournemouth Gramophone Society and they lived together, until she was admitted to a care home.

Mr Reynolds previously told the Daily Echo of his aunt: ‘She has always had an independent spirit and it was typical of her that on her hundredth birthday she refused a card from the queen because she did not want people to know how old she was.’

He added: ‘Joan is one of the most hospitable people imaginable. She loved having guests for a meal and to stay. She said she had no secret to her long life.

‘She just kept going, rarely seeing a doctor, following no diet and eating what she wanted. She has always sought to live life to the full.’

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