Britain's oldest person, who drove an ambulance during World War II and turned down a Queen's card for not wanting everyone to know she was old, died at the age of 112
- Joan Hocquard was born in 1908 to Queen Victoria's son Edward VII
- She drove ambulances in London during World War II before meeting husband Gilbert
- After his death in 1981, she met the widower Kenneth Bedford and lived happily together for another 30 years
- The oldest living Briton is now Lilian Priest of Swanage, Dorset, aged 111
The family of the oldest person in Great Britain paid tribute to her today after her death at the age of 112.
Joan Hocquard, born in 1908 during the reign of the Queen's great-grandfather Edward VII, died yesterday in a nursing home in Poole, Dorset.
Her nephew Paul Reynolds, 74, said Joan believed there was no secret to longevity and that she "whipped butter and cream and made fun of the idea of dieting".
Mr. Reynolds, a former BBC journalist, said: “Joan Hocquard was a remarkably resilient person and lived her long life, taking it all upon herself.
She was born into a wealthy family who owned a law firm in the City of London.
The family of Britain's oldest person, Joan Hocquard, paid tribute to her today after her death at the age of 112
Her father was in colonial service and Joan spent part of her childhood in Kisumu, Kenya, where he was responsible for shipping on the Great Lakes before and during World War I.
& # 39; There was no secret to her long life. In fact, she gleefully broke most modern dietary rules.
In the 1930s, she worked in a French hotel near Geneva for a few years, learning how to cook the French way, which was the only way for her – butter and cream, which she loved until her last days.
“She was incredibly hospitable and loved cooking for guests and taking them to restaurants. If you stayed with her, she wanted you to stay two nights, and if two, then a week.
Joan drove ambulances in London during WWII before she and her husband Gilbert moved to the south coast near Eastbourne where she enjoyed a yachting vacation. Left picture: Joan sails the Solent before the war
Joan drove ambulances in London during World War II before she and her husband Gilbert moved to the south coast near Eastbourne.
They traveled across the continent in a mobile home and went on a yacht vacation.
"She persuaded the coast guards to use the beach near Beachy Head, provided she was gone before four o'clock unclothed soldiers arrived," recalled Mr. Reynolds.
She was serving tea and cake to US soldiers in a nearby warehouse and was surprised one day when a GI gave her a five-pound note for a five-penny cup of tea.
Her nephew Paul Reynolds, 74, a former BBC journalist, said, "Joan Hocquard was a remarkably resilient person and lived her long life by taking it all on."
Believing there was no secret to longevity, Joan "enjoyed butter and cream and scoffed at the idea of dieting". Pictured: Joan Hocquard in the kitchen of her apartment with partner Kenneth Bedford
She and her husband had a 40-foot yacht that they sailed from Beaulieu in Hampshire on the coast to France.
But after years of happy marriage, Joan was widowed when Gilbert died in 1981.
Later that decade, she met the widower Kenneth Bedford, 20 years her junior, at the Bournemouth Gramophone Society and they moved to Poole together.
The oldest living Briton is believed to be Lilian Priest from Swanage, Dorset, who is 111 years old.