Britain’s oldest person who drove ambulances in WW2 dies aged 112 at her home

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Britain’s oldest person, who was born in 1908, died at her home in Poole, Dorset aged 112.

Joan Hocquard was born during the reign of Edward VII and served in London driving ambulances during World War Two.

She then moved to the south coast with her husband Gilbert and spent her live travelling across the UK in a camper van.

The pair enjoyed yachting holidays until Gilbert’s death in 1981, and later that decade she met widower Kenneth Bedford who was 20 years her junior.

Kenneth and Joan moved to Poole, Dorset, shortly after meeting and had lived there together ever since.

Joan passed away at home on October 24 2020 and her nephew, Paul Reynolds, has released a short statement about her life.

Of her life, Paul said: "Joan came from quite a well to do family, her mother's father ran a solicitors' firm in the city of London, and she was born in a big house in Holland Park.

"Her father was in the colonial service so she split her childhood between living in Kenya and with her grandmother in Lymington (Hants).

"She worked in a French hotel as a cook for nine years and drove ambulances in London in World War Two before she married Gilbert and they moved down to the south coast.

"She had no children but she loved travelling in a campervan around Europe."

He added: "She had an extraordinary innings and died peacefully in her own home, which is all you could wish for.

"She was a strong willed character and loved telling stories about how naughty she was as a schoolgirl. She was also a very hospitable and loyal person.

"She had an independent spirit and it was typical of her that on her 100th birthday she refused a card from the Queen because she did not want people to know how old she was.

"She always sought to live life to the full. She loved eating butter and cream and didn't believe in dieting.

"There is no secret to her long life. I suppose she just had good genes."

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