London: Sant Kaur Bajwa, a Sikh woman who at the age of 115 was UK`s oldest and the world`s second oldest person, has died.
Bajwa was born on January 1, 1898 in Sialkote (now in Pakistan), Punjab, in a small village called Monde ke Mazeera. She died on July 19 due to natural causes, family sources said.
She lived through three centuries, two World Wars, the Industrial and Technological revolutions, and outlived a total of six monarchs and 27 Prime Ministers of England.
In 1966, she migrated to Southall, England, to live with her son-in-law and daughter, Ajit Singh Rai and Surjit Kaur Rai.
In 1998 Sant Kaur Bajwa reached her landmark centenary.
While the world started to worry about the new millennium and Y2K, Sant Kaur reflected on the fact that she was born before the first aeroplane was invented, the first radio transmission and the discovery of penicillin.
Throughout her 115 years and 199 days, it was her resolute belief in Sikhism and God that encouraged her will to live.
Baptised as a Sikh, she was a religious activist who would visit the Gurdwara daily and repeat the term `Waheguru` for her own tranquillity.
It was her faith that gave her the optimism and strength to survive the inevitability of age.
Jim and Bob Rai, the twins that Sant Kaur brought up, recalling what a remarkable woman their grandmother was, said in a statement: "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, they said.
She will be sorely missed and we will never forget her flamboyant yet modest personality," they added.
She is survived by 12 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren.