115-year-old Indian Sant Kaur Bajwa - UK’s oldest person dies

India News Bulletin Desk

Indian woman Sant Kaur Bajwa, the UK’s oldest and the world’s 2nd oldest person passed away of natural causes on Friday, July 19. Sant Kaur, who moved to the UK in 1966 from Punjab, lived in Heston, West London and was 115 years and 199 days.

Sant Kaur Bajwa, UK's oldest living person when she was 55 (left) and 90 years

Born in 1898, she has been part of mankind’s historic inventions including the first aeroplane, the first radio transmission and the discovery of penicillin.

In 1966, she first migrated to Southall, England to live with her son-in-law and daughter, Ajit Singh Rai and Surjit Kaur Rai.

The Indian woman became the fourth oldest living person in the world just under a year younger to the oldest person in the world, Jiroemon Kimura, the Japanese super-centenarian born in 1897.

Bajwa’s family was not aware of the great grandmother’s historic achievement until they read about about ther death of Reg Dean, who was billed as the Britain’s oldest man at 110 years. Dean died on January 5, 2013. Dean’s longevity was attributed to him being a vegetarian.

Sant Kaur Bajwa reached her landmark centenary in 1998. She suffered from pneumonia a few years ago but has no health complication or blood pressure issues at 115. 

While Sant Kaur had no secrets to longevity, her family claimed that Bajwa massages herself with almond oil everyday.

Throughout her 115 years, it was her resolute belief in Sikhism that encouraged her will to live, according to her family. She was also a religious activist who would visit the Gurdwara daily and her faith gave her the optimism and strength to survive, they added.

Her two grandchildren Jim and Bob Rai, who she brought up, recalled what a remarkable woman their grandmother was.

Sant Kaur aged 115 with two of her 28 great grandchildren

“She was a formidable woman, a parent should never have to outlive their children and our grandmother suffered more than her fair share of tragedy during her lifetime. It was her inner strength and resolve that carried her forward, she fought and stood tall as the matriarch of the family. She will be sorely missed and we will never forget her flamboyant yet modest personality.”

She lost her husband Munsha Singh just six years after her marriage in 1914. One of her sons died during the family’s migration to Punjab during the Indian independence struggle and she lost her daughter Surjit Rai to kidney failure in the UK in 1972.

Sant Kaur Bajwa is survived by 12 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren.

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