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Grace Jones, last person in Britain born in 19th century, dies at 113

Nov. 15, 2013 at 1:33 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Grace Jones, the last person in Britain known to have been born in the 19th century, died Thursday at the age of 113.

Simon Hughes, the member of Parliament for Bermondsey in South London, where Jones lived, confirmed her death, the Daily Mirror reported. He described her as a woman of "strong Christian faith" and said her "memory and intellect were undimmed" by the passing years.

Jones was born on Dec. 7, 1899, when Queen Victoria was still on the throne and Britain was fighting the Boer War. Her fiance was killed in World War I, and she never married, working as a seamstress until her retirement about a half century ago.

Hughes said Jones continued to live on her own in a council flat until a fall a few weeks ago.

"All those who met Grace knew they had met one of London's most doughty individuals and she will never be forgotten," he said.

Jones died two weeks after Ralph Tarrant of Sheffield who, at 110, was the country's oldest man. Tarrant's wife, Phyllis, died two years ago at the age of 102, 79 years after their wedding.

Tarrant, who served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, said on his 110th birthday that he smoked until he was 70 and still enjoyed drinking whiskey.

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