Han Shoudao in her last years.
|Birth:||10 March 1909|
Xinyang, Henan, Qing dynasty (now China)
|Death:||13 January 2021|
Xinyang, Henan, China
|Age:||111 years, 309 days|
Han Shoudao claimed to have been born on 10 March 1909 in Pengdawan Village, Xinji City, Xin County, Xinyang, Henan, Qing dynasty (now China). She was the only daughter of her parents, who were rich proprietors. She led a wealthy childhood, and studied in a private school for years.
Member of the People's Liberation Army
Han firmly believed that only the Communist Party could save the China and allow workers to live a good life. Despite the fierce opposition of her parents, she participated to the propaganda and the revolution. In 1929, she joined the 31st division of the 11th army of the People's Liberation Army.
Under the orders of Gao Jingting, Han moved with the troups in Henan, Hubei and Anhui. She saved injured people, promoted progressist ideas, and cheered fighters up. She witnessed a lot of battles, and later became a chief of the Propaganda Department.
Han was caught by the Kuomintang during an encirclement campaign. She was tortured and sent in jail. Her legs were seriously injured, and because of the hot and humid air in the prison, she had maggots in legs. Moreover, a lot of people died. The prison guards thought that Han would not live long, and released the surveillance. She took this chance, and escaped of the prison during the night. She was saved by an old farmer in the mountains, and after he treated her wounds, she came back in People's Liberation Army, joigning the 28th army.
During a battle, Han was saving an injured comrade. But enemy's shells fell next her, and she was buried by stones and mud. When she stood up, she couldn't see anymore. The chief of the army sent her resting in a home where lived two villagers. The two people sprayed medicinal plants and Chinese tea on her eyes every day, and she recovered her eyesight. She asked them questions on the army, and learnt that the army left for the Long March.
Han couldn't return to her hometown because it was in the enemy's territory, and she was researched. She hid by working as a maid in someone's house, washing the clothes, sweeping the floor, washing the toilets, and other chores.
After the liberation, Han married a former factory worker, and lived of sewing and making clothes. Her husband died around 1987, and she stayed in Xin County.
In her last years, Han lived in Xin County's Glory Academia. In July 2017, she was visited by some members of the Communist Party. Although she had bad eyesight and hearing, she was able to see the Communist Party's flag, and repeated several times: "The Party's flag, the Party's flag!".
In November 2017, being interviewed during the operation "Re-walking the Long Walk": "The signification of the (Chinese) revolutionary war is to tell us all what is hardly won today, the most important is to not forget the origins and to cherish it. The young generation must not only understand the revolution's history, but also inherit the revolutionary spirit and further it, and support the Communist Party." In September 2019, along with other veterans, Han was interviewed for a documentary.
Han died in a hospital in Xin County, Xinyang, Henan, China on 13 January 2021, at the age of 111 years, 309 days.
- 失落的红星——韩守道奶奶 WeChat (dead link)
- 2017年暑期社会实践活动系列报道之六 Henan Agricultural University, 12 July 2017 (dead link)
- 工程学院2017年“重走长征路”主题社会实践纪实 China University of Geosciences, 3 November 2017
- 央视新闻：平均年龄99.8岁！他们，向祖国敬礼！ Minister of People's Republic of China's Veterans, 27 September 2019
- 111岁红军女战士韩守道逝世 Sina (新浪), 23 January 2021