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Lucy Askew

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Validated By: Test Validator On Date: Aug. 31st 2020

Lucy Jane Askew was a British supercentenarian who was the oldest resident of the country upon her death and the last known person born in 1883. Her age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG) and the European Supercentenarian Organisation (ESO) and recognized by LongeviQuest (LQ).

Biography

Askew was born in Loughton, Essex, England as the fourth child of Arthur George and Susan Elizabeth (Ellis) Askew. Her father was a hansom cab operator and lived to be 87 years old. Her youngest brother, Frank, died in 1997 aged 100.

After leaving school, Askew joined the family haulage and transport firm where she kept the books. She never married and had no children. She was a devout Christian and ran a bible class for young ladies. In the 1930s, she took in an unmarried lodger who allowed his girlfriend to stay the night; Askew was disgusted and threw him out.

Askew loved to exercise and remained fit throughout her life. She enjoyed walking to church and even at the age of 80 would refuse lifts. Her family described her as a “God-fearing teetotaler, self-reliant, never bored, and unafraid of dying.”

Askew lived alone until the age of 106, when she moved into a nursing home in Loughton, Essex. At the age of 108, she survived a knee operation under general anesthetic. She continued to knit blankets for African relief charities until the age of 112 and remained in good health until shortly before her death on 9 December 1997 at the age of 114 years, 92 days.

Biography sourced from Gerontology Wiki

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Recognition

Askew was originally thought to have become the oldest living person in the United Kingdom following the death of 113-year-old Northern Irish woman Annie Scott on 21 April 1996. However, subsequent research has found that she actually assumed the title following the death of 112-year-old Rachel Wieselberg on 6 June 1996. Following Wieselberg’s death, Askew also became the last surviving British person born in 1883.

At the time of her death, Askew was the third-oldest British person ever recorded, after Charlotte Hughes and Anna Eliza Williams. As of 2023, Askew ranks as the sixth-oldest British person ever.

Askew became the world’s last surviving documented person born in 1883 following the death of 114-year-old María del Carmen Lopez on 3 July 1997. However, she was not the last surviving person born before 1884, as there were several living people born in earlier years at the time.

Askew became the oldest living person in Europe following the death of 122-year-old Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment on 4 August 1997. However, she was not the oldest living European-born person, as Danish-born American Christian Mortensen was more than a year older. After her death, Annie Jennings, then aged 113, became the oldest living person in the UK and Europe.

Askew’s age was verified by Guinness World Records (GWR) and validated by the GRG on an unknown date. Her age was later validated by the ESO on 31 August 2020, after being verified by Andrew Holmes and Chris Law.

Information partially sourced from Gerontology Wiki