Gerontology Wiki
Ethel Lang
Ethel Lang
Ethel Lang at the age of 106
Birth: 27 May 1900
Worsbrough, South Yorkshire, England, UK
Death: 15 January 2015
Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England, UK
Age: 114 years, 233 days
Country: United Kingdom UK

Ethel Lang (née Lancaster; 27 May 1900 – 15 January 2015) was a British supercentenarian who was the oldest living person in the United Kingdom at the time of her death, as well as the last living British person born during the reign of Queen Victoria. Her age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).


Early Life

Lang was born on 27 May 1900 in Worsbrough, South Yorkshire. She was the sixth child born to miner Charles Lancaster and his wife Sarah. Longevity ran in Lang's family; her mother lived to be 91, one of her sisters lived to be 104, and her great-grandmother died in 1848 at the age of 92.

Lang left school at the age of 13 to work in a factory that supplied shirts for soldiers throughout the First World War. She married William Lang (with whom she coincidentally shared a birthday) in 1922. The couple had a daughter, Margaret, in 1923. During the Second World War, Lang worked in a small sewing factory.

Later Life

Lang's husband died in 1988, at the age of 92. She continued to live independently until the age of 105, when she moved in to a care home in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England. She enjoyed dancing even as a centenarian, and was dancing at her 106th birthday party in 2006. She also enjoyed watching snooker on television. Lang became a supercentenarian after celebrating her 110th birthday in May 2010. She died on 15 January 2015 at the age of 114 years, 233 days.

Longevity Records

Lang became the oldest living person in the United Kingdom following the death of 113 year-old Grace Adelaide Jones on 14 November 2013. She also became the last surviving British person born in the 19th Century (which ended on 31 December 1900) last known british survivor of Lost Generation (also ended on 31 December 1900) and during the reign of Queen Victoria (who died on 22 January 1901). However, Lang was not the last surviving subject of Queen Victoria overall, as Jamaican woman Violet Brown – born in 1900 when Jamaica was under British rule – lived until September 2017.

Not only was Lang the last surviving person in the UK born in the Victorian Era, she was also the last to have been born before 1903. Kathleen McManners, the last British person born in 1901, died on 20 September 2013 and Florence Pittaway, the last British person born in 1902, died on 21 December 2014.

Following Lang's death on 15 January 2015, Gladys Hooper (1903-2016) became the United Kingdom's oldest person. At the time of her death, she was the second-oldest living person in Europe, after Emma Morano. Lang is currently the fourth-oldest person ever to have died in the United Kingdom, after Charlotte Hughes, Annie Jennings, and Eva Morris.



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