Britain's last Victorian dies aged 114

When Ethel Lang was born, Queen Victoria was still on the throne. When she married, Britain was only just adjusting to normality after the ravages of the First World War.

So the news that Britain’s “last Victorian” had died this week, aged 114, was greated with awe at a life well lived, but also with sadness that a link to an era in time was lost for ever.

Mrs Lang, who died in a Barnsley nursing home on Thursday, was Britain’s oldest person. Born on 27 May 1900 in the Worsbrough area of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, she is thought to have been the last person in Britain to have been born during the reign of Queen Victoria.

After Victoria died in 1901, Mrs Lang ended up living though the reign of six monarchs, the rule of 22 prime ministers and two world wars.

Mrs Lang, who lived in Barnsley all her life, moved into a care home only when she was 105, and celebrated her 114th birthday last year by enjoying a piece of cake and a cup of tea with her family and friends.

The oldest person in Britain is now thought to be Gladys Hooper, 111, of Ryde, Isle of Wight, who will celebrate her 112th birthday on Sunday.

The oldest person in the world is thought to be Misao Okawa, a Japanese woman who celebrated her 116th birthday last March. Attributing her longevity to sushi and sleep, she is believed to be the sixth oldest person ever to have lived.

According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics last year, the number of centenarians in the UK in 2013 was 13,780. Of those, 710 were thought to be 105 or older.

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