Britain’s oldest person dies weeks before 112th birthday


Annie Turnbull passed away after a short illness

By Cara Sulieman

BRITAIN’S oldest person has died just a few weeks away from her 112th birthday.

Annie Turnbull passed away at her care home in Leith last Friday, leaving a large family and even larger legacy.

When asked, the great-grandmother would say that “keeping calm” was the secret to her longevity.

But she didn’t like the attention her long life brought her, and was reluctant to be put in the spotlight.

Her daughter, Margaret Paterson, 77, said that Annie was a “wonderful woman”.

She added: “She didn’t like to make a fuss.

“Everybody that knew her had a good word to say about her.

“You can make a lot of friends in 111 years.

“She was a wonderful woman and while she lived to a marvellous age the years always failed to show.”

Born and brought up in Stoneyburn, West Lothian, Annie moved to the capital when she was 14 to become a housekeeper, refusing to retire until she was 76.

Dougie Donnelly, 74, whose mother was a close friend of Annie’s in Stoneyburn, said she was “marvellous”.

He said: “Annie was often fond of telling people that she used to push me around in my pram, which was a very long time ago considering my age now.

“She always used to tell me stories about life in Stoneyburn back in the day, about who worked in which pub and who lived where.

“She was the last link to the days of old.

“She was a marvellous woman, and to me she was always my auntie Annie.”

Annie was born on September 21, 1898 when Queen Victoria was on the throne.

In her lifetime she has seen two world wars, 26 prime ministers and six monarchs come and go.

Despite the technological advances in her lifetime, Annie lived without hot water until she was 92 when she moved into sheltered housing, and never once left the UK.

It was only three years ago that the strong pensioner had to move to Victoria Mannor care home in Leith at the age of 109.

Annie had two daughters, four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Her loving family are holding her funeral this Saturday at Seafield Crematorium at 11am.

Writing in the notice of her death, they add: “Ann had not long gained the title of Britain’s eldest person at 111 years.

“She was honoured, but did not know what all the fuss was about, she was not anyone special.

“We all beg to differ.”

Britain’s oldest woman is now Elsie Steele from Repton in Derbyshire who will be 112 on January 6 next year.


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