Gerontology Wiki
Ralph Tarrant
Ralph Tarrant
Ralph Tarrant on 7 January 2013 at the age of 109
Birth: 7 July 1903
Nottingham, England, UK
Death: 30 October 2013
Sheffield, England, UK
Age: 110 years, 115 days
Country: United Kingdom UK

Ralph Burgess Tarrant (7 July 1903 – 30 October 2013)[1] was a British supercentenarian who, at the time of his death, was the oldest living man in the UK,[2] and the second oldest man in Europe, after Italian Arturo Licata .


Ralph Tarrant was born in Nottingham in 1903. He moved to Sheffield at the age of seven and left school when he was 13 in order to work. He initially worked at a local steelworks as an office boy, then worked as a steel inspector, and was a corporal in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He was then an insurance salesman for Refuge Assurance until his retirement in 1968.[2] He said that the secret to his long life "is to enjoy vices as well as much as virtues" and to "stay active and stay interested"[2]

Tarrant met his future wife, then known as Phyllis Mary Machen, in 1922.[2][3] They got married in Crookes, Sheffield, on 8 July 1933, one day after his 30th birthday. Tarrant and his wife did a large amount of travelling, and his favorite travel location was Capri, Italy, where he and his wife were able to swim with actress Gracie Fields. They also visited other European countries and the United States.[2]Phyllis died on 4 February 2011 at the age of 102.[3] Before her death, the couple were the United Kingdom's longest-married couple.[4] Tarrant had two daughters, Brenda and Christine, as well as seven grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.[2] Tarrant smoked until he was 70 and was partial to whisky.[2][4] Beginning in January 2013, Tarrant lived independently in his two-bedroom flat, still cooked his own meals, did his own housework, and did some shopping.[2]

Tarrant became the oldest living man in the United Kingdom following the death of Reg Dean on 5 January 2013. Following Tarrant's death on 30 October 2013, the title passed to Harold Bracher (who was anonymous at the time), who was born on 30 November 1904.



United Kingdom's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (VE)

George Stanforth • John Mosley Turner • John Leng • Frederick Butterfield • James Harrow • Ernest Oxley • Harry Durrant • Arthur Emanuel • James Sellers • Walter Sandford • George Simms • Henry Norman • John Orton • Alfred Grant • John Evans • Samuel Crabbe • Joseph Randle • Jesse Yewdall • William Proctor • David Davies • Vinson Gulliver • David Henderson • Harry Halford • William Lee • Frederick Moore • Harry Laverick • Jerzy Pajaczkowski-Dydynski • Henry Allingham • Harry Patch • Stanley Lucas • Edward Anderson • Reg Dean • Ralph Tarrant • Harold Bracher • Frank Simes • John Mansfield • Alf Smith • Bob Weighton • Harry Fransman • John Tinniswood