Lucy d'Abreu at the age of 110
|Birth:||24 May 1892|
Dharwar, British Raj (now India)
|Death:||7 December 2005|
Stirling, Scotland, UK
|Age:||113 years, 197 days|
Lucy Victoria d'Abreu (née d'Souza; 24 May 1892 – 7 December 2005) was an Indian-born British supercentenarian who holds the record as the longest-lived person ever born in India whose age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG). She also holds the record for being the longest-lived person ever to die in Scotland.
D'Abreu was the oldest living person in the United Kingdom at the time her death, and was the last surviving person in the UK who was born before 1894.
Lucy d'Abreu was born on 24 May 1892 in Dharwar, British Raj (now India). Her parents, Joseph d'Souza and Marceline Saldanha, were part of a Mangalorean Catholic family. She was given the middle name Victoria after the reigning monarch when she was born.
After marrying Abundius Joseph d'Abreu, a surgeon, the couple moved to Waterford, Ireland. They had eight children together, two of whom died in childhood. Abundius died in 1971.
In 1985, d'Abreu moved to Scotland to be near one of her children. After a fall at the age of 106, she moved to a nursing home in Stirling, Scotland. Her husband was a cousin-in-law of the Queen Mother, and she was visited by the Queen (who was partway through her golden jubilee tour) on her 110th birthday in May 2002. She attributed her longevity to "brandy and dry ginger ale".
d'Abreu died on 7 December 2005 at the age of 113 years, 197 days. At the time of her death, she had 13 grandchildren, "scores" of great-grandchildren and "numerous" great-great-grandchildren.
Following the death of Agnes Kinnear in June 2001, d'Abreu became the oldest living person in Scotland. She later became the oldest living person in whole of the United Kingdom after the death of 112 year-old Gladys Hawley on 28 April 2004. Following d'Abreu's death, Judy Ingamells became the UK's oldest living person and Annie Knight became Scotland's oldest living person.
Following the death of Mabel Frary on 13 March 2004, d'Abreu became the last surviving person in the UK who was born in 1892. Following Gladys Hawley's death on 28 April 2004, d'Abreu also became the last surviving person in the UK born before 1893. She subsequently became the last surviving person born before 1894 following the death of Mary Ann Hebden on 30 November 2005, a week before her own death.
On 1 July 2005, d'Abreu became the longest-lived person in the history of Scotland after surpassing the previous record of 113 years, 37 days set by Annie Scott in 1996.
Although it is highly unlikely that d'Abreu is truly the oldest ever person born in India, she is the oldest such person whose age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group. She was the first of just two supercentenarians whose ages have been validated by the GRG as of 2020, the other being Ethel Farrell.
- Gerontology Research Group
- All Validated Supercentenarians Oldest in Britain
- Queen continues jubilee tour of Scotland The Telegraph, 24 May 2002
- 110-year-old toasts life BBC News, 3 December 2002
- Brandy and ginger ale proves a tonic at 110 Irish Times, 20 January 2003
- UK's oldest woman reaches 111 BBC News, 24 May 2003
- Most senior citizen dies aged 113 BBC News, 9 December 2005
- Oldest Briton dies aged 113 Daily Mail, 9 December 2005
- Celtic lifestyle is key to longevity Belfast Telegraph, 4 July 2008
- Saldanha Shet family genealogy