Gerontology Wiki
Ethel Caterham
Ethel Caterham
Birth: 21 August 1909
Shipton Bellinger, Hampshire, England, UK
Age: 112 years, 155 days
Country: United Kingdom UK

Ethel May Caterham (born 21 August 1909) is a British supercentenarian whose age is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG). She currently is the oldest known living person born in England and the second-oldest known living person in the United Kingdom, behind Mollie Walker.


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.

Later Life

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 has been the oldest known living person in Surrey since the death of 109 year-old Kay Hurley on 17 January 2019. She 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.