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BIOGRAPHY

Hocquard was born as Joan Eileen Reynolds in Holland Park, an area of Kensington, London, England, on 29 March 1908. She spent much of her childhood in Kenya, where her father was a colonial officer in charge of shipping on the Great Lakes in east Africa. Her brother was born there in 1913.

After attending a boarding school in Sussex, she got a job as a cook in a French hotel near Geneva in Switzerland. Just before World War II started, she returned to England, where she met her husband, Gilbert Hocquard. During the war, she drove ambulances in London before moving to the south coast of England (near Eastbourne) with her husband. The couple travelled across Europe in a camper van and went on yachting holidays until her husband’s death in 1981. Following his death, she moved to a flat in Lilliput. In 1987, she met a widower Kenneth Bedford at the Bournemouth Gramophone Society, who was 20 years her junior. They never married, but started living together in Poole.

Hocquard passed away in Poole, Dorset, England, on 24 October 2020, at the age of 112.

RECOGNITION

On 24 December 2019, following the death of 111 year-old Hilda Clulow, she became the oldest living female, as well as the joint-oldest living person, in the United Kingdom. She shared this title with Bob Weighton of Alton, Hampshire, England. Following Weighton’s death on 28 May 2020, Hocquard became the sole titleholder.

Her age was verified by Andrew Holmes, and validated by the ESO on 19 January 2020.

After her death, 111-year-old Lilian Priest became the oldest living person in the United Kingdom.

ATTRIBUTION

* “Britain’s oldest woman, Joan Hocquard, lives in Poole” – Bournemouth Echo, 4 August 2020

* “Joan Hocquard, Britain’s oldest person, dies aged 112” – The Guardian, 25 October 2020

GALLERY

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