Great-grandmother from Gants Hill, believed to be 113 and second oldest person in country, dies in hospital

Nanuben Kanzaria, believed to have been 113, died in King George Hospital on February 21 2013

Nanuben Kanzaria, believed to have been 113, died in King George Hospital on February 21 2013 - Credit: Archant

A great-grandmother from Gants Hill, believed to have been 113 years old and the second oldest person in the country, has died with her family at her side.

Nanuben Kanzaria, who lived in Bramley Crescent, Gants Hill, passed away in King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, on Thursday after contracting pneumonia.

She was surrounded by three generations of her family.

Her great-granddaughter, Namrata Kanzaria, 23, a former Valentines High School pupil who lives in Gants Hill, said: “She had a really nice heart and nature, even in the last stages when she was in pain.

“She was so mobile until last week when she started to go downhill.”


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She was born in a tiny village, Weraar, in Gujurat, India, in 1900, the same year the first passenger train travelled from Cairo to Khartoum, and moved to London aged 80 years old to be with her son Ramji Kanzaria.

Her age would have made her the second oldest person in the United Kingdom, if verified, but Namrata said a mix-up with her Indian passport meant her age was given as around eight years younger.

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Namrata said: “She was actually 113, they didn’t do passports properly then, they messed the date up.

“In the hospital they said she was the oldest patient they’d ever had.

“The nurses and doctors said she didn’t look her age, they said she looked 80 at the most.”

The mistake transferred to her British passport, according to her great-granddaughter.

Nanuben worked picking crops and as a housewife in India and was married to Govabhai.

They had one son, Ramji, now in his 80s.

Two other children died at a young age and Govabhai died when Ramji was only fours year old.

Namrata put the secret of her great-grandmother’s longevity down to a “simple diet” though she said Nanuben threw caution to the wind in later years, enjoying diet Coke, pizza and chips.

Namrata said: “She was walking and really mobile, it was not what you would have expected from someone over 100 years old.”

She had three grandchildren Liladhar, Harsha, and Jayesh; and two other great-grandchildren, Jigna, 26 and Jainisha, 21, also of Gants Hill.

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