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Amelia England

European Supercentenarian Organisation
Validated By: European Supercentenarian Organisation On Date: Oct. 27th 2023

Amelia “Milly” England (née Bowden) was a British-born American supercentenarian whose age has been validated by the European Supercentenarian Organisation (ESO), and recognized by LongeviQuest.

Biography

England was born in Bolton, Greater Manchester, England, UK, on 15 May 1900, as the eldest of six children born to parents Percival Bowden and Sarah Sofield. In 1911, as a child, she immigrated to the United States. In 1910, her father arrived first to seek employment and establish himself. In 1911, he sent for his wife, his eldest daughter Amelia, and the two youngest children, Herbert and Margaret, and the family settled in New Bedford. He left the other children in the care of relatives in England until he could arrange for their journey. When the family in England could no longer support them, the children were placed in an orphanage until Percival and Sarah could afford their passage to the country. She looked after her baby brother throughout the entire journey from England to America. Even in her old age, she recalled walking on the decks of the ships with him, and the sailors instructing her to return below decks. She attended school until the age of 14 and then began working in the city’s mills for four hours each day. She continued working in those mills until her 60s.

During her youth, she became a Girl Scout, joining the Thistle Troop in New Bedford in 1914. At the age of 111, she still considered herself a Girl Scout. She cherished her gold Girl Scout ring with its emerald gemstone, coincidentally her birthstone, as one of her most prized possessions. She reminisced about sewing her own uniform—a long-sleeved blouse with a blue neck scarf—that she wore on camping trips, troop meetings, dances, and suppers at a local church. She first learned the art of spring cleaning at the residence of the Thistle Troop leader. She met Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA, during the organization’s early years. She started playing whist with her mother on Sundays when she was 16 years old and continued to play even as a supercentenarian.

At the age of 29, she met and married John Wood (1897–1952). In 1967, she married again, this time to Frank England. The couple moved to Lakeville, where she continued to reside after her second husband’s death in 1976. She outlived all of her siblings, none of whom lived past their late 80s, and her parents, who both passed away in their 70s. She had no children, but she dedicated many years to babysitting and caring for other people’s children to the extent that most of New Bedford referred to her as “Aunt Milly.”

England never experienced a major illness. She drove a car until the age of 95 and lived independently, albeit close to her great-niece, until she was 110. In the summer of 2010, she moved into a residential care center in the far North End of New Bedford. At the age of 110, her vision remained sharp, but her hearing had diminished, and her hands were affected by arthritis.

England passed away at New Bedford Healthcare Center in New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA, on 30 November 2012, at the age of 112 years, 199 days.

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Recognition

At the time of death, she was the second-oldest living person in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, behind Bernice Madigan.

Her age was verified by Andrew Holmes, Amy Reid, and Lori Feldman, and validated by the ESO on 27 October 2023.

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Attribution

* “Milly England of Lakeville is still going strong at 110” – The Enterprise, 12 May 2010

* “New Bedford’s amazing Milly England is 111 years old” – SouthCoastToday.com, 22 May 2011

* “Milly England recalls early days of the Girl Scouts” – SouthCoastToday.com, 3 March 2012

* “SouthCoast’s Amelia “Milly” England turns 112” – SouthCoastToday.com, 16 May 2012

* Amelia “Milly” Bowden Wood England – Find A Grave