Britain's oldest person, South Yorkshire woman Bessie Camm dies at 113

Bessie on her 113th birthday. (Photo courtesy of Rotherham Advertiser).
Bessie on her 113th birthday. (Photo courtesy of Rotherham Advertiser).

A woman from South Yorkshire who was Britain's oldest person has died at the age of 113.

Bessie Camm, who was alive during the reign of five monarchs and 21 prime ministers, was also the tenth oldest person in the world.

The former nurse, who lived in Rotherham, was born in 1904 and lived through both the First World War and Second World War.

Bessie, who became the UK's oldest last July, died at her Moorgate Lodge care home, six weeks short of her 114th birthday.

Born in Swaledale, North Yorkshire, on June 20, 1904, King Edward VII was on the throne and Arthur Balfour was Prime Minister when she made her arrival in the world.

She attended a Quaker School before qualifying as a nurse in 1926 and she worked at Darlington Hospital as a ward sister and then a theatre sister at Montagu Hospital in Mexborough.

She was matron at Richmond Hospital, where she worked during the Second World War.

During her time as a nurse, she treated former Conservative leader William Hague, whose family were from the Dearne Valley.

She was married to John who died in 1972 but the couple did not have children. She lived in Wath before moving into Moorgate.

Once asked what the secret to long life was, she replied: “Hard work, knowing lovely people and good food. I had a good life as a nurse.”

The oldest person is now believed to be Olive Boar, of Felixstowe, Suffolk, who is 113 and 231 days.