Gerontology Wiki
Ethel Caterham
Ethel Caterham
Birth: 21 August 1909
Shipton Bellinger, Hampshire, England, UK
Age: 112 years, 352 days
Country: United Kingdom UK

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.

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 became the oldest known living person in Surrey, following the death of 109 year-old Kay Hurley on 17 January 2019.

In 2020, at the age of 110, Caterham contracted COVID-19 during the coronavirus pandemic. However, she successfully recovered, making her one of the oldest known survivors of the disease.

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.



United Kingdom's Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Frederick Stabbins • Jane ListerMartha Truelove • Ann Sharp • Jane Raby • Frances Smith • William Walker • Ann Russell • Eliza Roff • Ellen Palmer • Rachel MacArthur • Rachel SwainMary Davey • Thomas Pope • John Francklow • Rebecca Lees • Sarah Fitt • Elizabeth Sellwood • Matilda Coppins • Elizabeth Whitehead • Emma Rooke • Margaret Lunn • Sarah Humphrey • Caroline BealeFanny Hopkins • Elizabeth Etheridge • Sophia Wellstead • Rhoda Harris • Emma Weeks • Edith Grellier • Mary WorthingtonJane Stoneman • Ellen Dart • Elizabeth Kensley • Hannah SmithJohn Mosley TurnerAda Roe • Alice StevensonElizabeth WatkinsFrederick Butterfield • Rose Heeley • Agnes Helyar • James Harrow • Sarah Morgan • Lilias WilliamsFlorence PannellJeanetta ThomasAlice Brewster • Anna Eliza Williams • Kate Begbie • Charlotte Hughes • Daisy Adams • Rebecca Hewison • Annie Scott • Rachel Wieselberg • Lucy Askew • Annie Jennings • Eva Morris • Amy Hulmes • Nellie Bradley • Gladys Hawley • Lucy d'Abreu • Judy Ingamells • Emmeline BriceAnnie Knight • Ada Mason • Florrie Baldwin • Eunice BowmanAnnie Turnbull • Elsie SteeleMargaret Fish • Violet Wood • Grace A Jones • Ethel Lang • Gladys Hooper • Bessie CammOlive BoarGrace C JonesGwen PayneHilda ClulowBob WeightonJoan HocquardLilian PriestGertrude KingstonMollie WalkerEthel Caterham