Ralph Tarrant

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Ralph Tarrant
Born (1903-07-07)7 July 1903
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Died (2013-10-30)30 October 2013 (aged 110 years, 115 days)
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Residence Sheffield, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Occupation Office boy, steel inspector, Royal Air Force corporal, and insurance salesman
Known for Oldest living man in the United Kingdom (5 January 2013–30 October 2013)
Spouse(s) Phyllis Tarrant (1908–2011, aged 102)
(m.8.7.1933–4.2.2011; her death)
Children Two daughters

Ralph Burgess Tarrant (7 July 1903 – 30 October 2013)[1] was a British supercentenarian who was the United Kingdom's oldest living man from the death of 110-year-old Reg Dean on 5 January 2013[2] until his own death on 30 October 2013.[1]


Ralph Tarrant was born in Nottingham in 1903. He moved to Sheffield at the age of seven and left school when he was 13 in order to work. He initially worked at a local steelworks as an office boy, then worked as a steel inspector, and was a corporal in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He was then an insurance salesman for Refuge Assurance until his retirement in 1968.[2] He said that the secret to his long life "is to enjoy vices as well as much as virtues" and to "stay active and stay interested".[2]

Family and personal life[edit]

Tarrant met his future wife, then known as Phyllis Mary Machen, in 1922.[2][3] They got married in Crookes, Sheffield, on 8 July 1933, one day after his 30th birthday. Tarrant and his wife did a large amount of travelling, and his favorite travel location was Capri, Italy, where he and his wife were able to swim with actress Gracie Fields. They also visited other European countries and the United States.[2] Phyllis died on 4 February 2011 at the age of 102.[3] Before her death, the couple were the United Kingdom's longest-married couple, after 77 years.[4] Tarrant has two daughters, Brenda and Christine, as well as seven grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.[2] Tarrant smoked until he was 70 and was partial to whisky.[2][4] Beginning in January 2013, Tarrant lived independently in his two-bedroom flat, still cooked his own meals, did his own housework, and did some shopping.[2]