|Lucy Jane Askew|
|Birth:||8 September 1883|
Loughton, Essex, England
|Death:||9 December 1997|
Loughton, Essex, England
|Age:||114 years, 92 days|
Lucy Jane Askew (8 September 1883 – 9 December 1997) was a British supercentenarian who was the oldest living person in Europe at the time of her death. She was also the world's last surviving person born in 1883 whose age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group.
Askew was born on 8 September 1883 in Loughton, Essex, England. She was one of six children born to Arthur and Susan Askew, who were prosperous landowners. Three of her siblings lived to be centenarians.
After leaving school, Askew joined the family haulage and transport firm where she kept the books. She never married. She was a devout Christian and at one time she ran a bible class for young ladies. In the 1930s, she took in an unmarried lodger who allowed his girlfriend to stay the night; Askew was disgusted and threw him out.
Askew loved to exercise and remained fit throughout her life. She enjoyed walking to church and even at the age of 80 would refuse lifts. Her family described her as a "God-fearing teetotaller, self reliant, never bored, and unafraid of dying."
Askew lived alone until the age of 106, when she moved into a nursing home in Loughton, Essex. At the age of 108, she survived a knee operation under general anaesthetic. She continued to knit blankets until the age of 112, and remained in good health until shortly before her death on 9 December 1997 at the age of 114 years, 92 days.
Askew was originally thought to have become the oldest living person in the United Kingdom following the death of 113 year-old Northern Irish woman Annie Scott on 21 April 1996. However, subsequent research has found that she actually assumed the title following the death of 112 year-old Rachel Wieselberg on 6 June 1996. Following Wieselberg's death, Askew also became the last surviving British person born in 1883.
Askew became the world's last surviving documented person born in 1883 following the death of 114 year-old Maria del Carmen Lopez on 3 July 1997. However, she was not last surviving person born before 1884, as there were several living people born in earlier years at the time.
Askew became the oldest living person in Europe following the death of 122 year-old Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment on 4 August 1997. However, she was not the oldest living European-born person, as Danish-born American Christian Mortensen was more than a year older.
Following Askew's death on 9 December 1997, fellow Brit Annie Jennings became the oldest living person in Europe.
- Verified Supercentenarians (Listed Chronologically By Birth Date) Gerontology Research Group
- Lucy takes the old-age title The Herald, 23 April 1996
- Britain's oldest woman dies at 114 BBC News, 10 December 1997
- Lucy Askew; At 114, Britain’s Oldest Woman Los Angeles Times, 11 December 1997