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|
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.
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 the age of 91, one of her sisters lived to 104, and her great-grandmother died in 1848 aged 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.
Lang's husband died in 1988, aged 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. 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.
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) 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 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.
- Gerontology Research Group
- All Validated British Supercentenarians Oldest in Britain
- Ethel in fine form aged 108 The Star, 2 June 2008 (via The Wayback Machine)
- Britain's oldest person Ethel Lang dies aged 114 The Telegraph, 16 January 2015
- Ethel Lang: Britain's oldest person – the last Victorian – dies aged 114 The Independent, 16 January 2015
- Ethel Lang: Shirtmaker and coalminer's daughter whose death at 114 made her the last Victorian in Britain The Independent, 26 January 2015