May 11, 2010

UK: Europe's Oldest Person Dies at Age 114

LEEDS, West Yorkshire. England / The Advertiser / Pudsey News / May 11, 2010

Grandson pays tribute to well-loved Pudsey relative

By Hannah Baker

Great-great-grandmother Florrie Baldwin, who last year became the oldest person in Europe, has died at the age of 114.

The supercentenarian passed away in her sleep at Radcliffe Gardens Nursing Home in Pudsey on Saturday.

She had celebrated her milestone birthday just weeks earlier with members of her family, including her 89-year-old daughter, two grandsons and great and great-great-grandchildren.

Her grandson David Worsnop, 64, said: “She went peacefully. She had been going downhill slowly for a while and it seemed to accelerate over the past two weeks.

“The doctor said her heart was strong but all her organs were closing down.

“I will remember her chasing me and my brother about as children. She was a feisty woman.

“I went down to her house every weekend. She was a part of my life and of me. We all loved her greatly with tremendous affection.

“The cause of her death was ‘old age’. I’ve never seen that before, you usually pop off with something. She has had two lives really – she’s been 57 twice.”

Some of Florrie’s earliest memories included the Siege of Mafeking during the Second Boer War in 1899 and, at the age of four, being taken to Leeds Central Station by her mother for a visit by Queen Victoria.

She could also remember milk being delivered by pony and trap during her childhood, street parties after the Boer War and a Zeppelin flying over Leeds.

She lived through the reigns of 27 prime ministers, six monarchs and had been a pensioner for more than a decade when Neil Armstrong reached the moon.

Mrs Baldwin started work at a jewellers in Leeds before spending more than 30 years as a clerk for Geo Brays Engineering, retiring at the age of 75.

After being widowed in 1973, she lived alone until the age of 105, when she moved to Radcliffe Gardens. [rc]

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