|Birth:||21 August 1909|
Shipton Bellinger, Hampshire, England, UK
|Age:||112 years, 352 days|
Ethel May Caterham (born 21 August 1909) is a British supercentenarian who is currently the oldest known living person in the United Kingdom since the death of Mollie Walker on 22 January 2022. She is also one of the oldest known survivors of COVID-19, recovering from the disease in 2020 at the age of 110. Her age is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).
Early Life and Family
Caterham was born on 21 August 1909 in Shipton Bellinger, Hampshire, England, and grew up in Tidworth, Wiltshire, England. She was the second-youngest of eight children. In 1927, at the age of 18, she got a job as a nanny to a British family in India, and travelled alone for three weeks by ship to India. She worked there for three years before returning to England.
In 1931, Caterham met her future husband Norman, a major in the British Army, at a dinner party. The couple married in Salisbury Cathedral where Norman was a choirboy and they lived together in Harnham, England, before they were stationed in Hong Kong and Gibraltar.
While living in Hong Kong, Caterham started a nursery for local and British children where she taught English, games, and crafts. While in Gibraltar, she and her husband started their family, eventually raising two girls back in the UK.
Caterham has lived in Surrey, England, for more than 50 years. She drove until she was 97 years old and was a regular bridge player in her centenarian years. She currently lives in a care home in Ash Vale, Surrey.
Caterham became the oldest known living person in Surrey, following the death of 109 year-old Kay Hurley on 17 January 2019.
Caterham celebrated her 111th birthday in August 2020 with a tea party and a visit from the Mayor of Surrey Heath. A week beforehand, she was interviewed along with her granddaughter on BBC Radio Surrey.
Caterham became the oldest oldest known living person in the United Kingdom, following the death of 112 year-old Mollie Walker on 22 January 2022.
- All Validated British Supercentenarians Oldest in Britain
- Four generations of family turn out for Ethel's 106th birthday bash Get Surrey, 3 September 2015
- Mayor of Surrey Heath attends a very special birthday party! Surrey Heath, 22 August 2018
- A friend of mine’s grandmother is the 7th oldest person in the UK and has her 111th birthday on the 21st August... @thelibrarian6 on Twitter, 31 July 2020
- Centenarian from Salisbury to celebrate 111th birthday Salisbury Journal, 12 August 2020
- Surrey’s oldest resident Ethel, celebrates 111th birthday Surrey News, 24 August 2020
- Happy 112th birthday to Ethel Surrey County Council on Facebook, 20 August 2021
- The secret to living past 110, according to Britain's supercentenarians The Telegraph, 20 January 2022