Ralph Tarrant

  • Lifespan: July 7, 1903 – Oct. 30, 2013
  • Age: 110 years, 115 days
  • Birthplace: Nottingham, England, UK
  • Last residence: Sheffield, England, UK
  • Validation date: Mar. 15, 2015
  • Validation source: Tarrant family/Oliver Trim/Chris Law/M. Page

Ralph Tarrant was born in Nottingham, England, UK on July 7, 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. 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”.
Ralph Tarrant met his future wife, Phyllis Mary Machen, in 1922, when he was 19. They got married in Crookes, Sheffield, England, UK on July 8, 1933, one day after Ralph’s 30th birthday. They had two daughters, Brenda and Christine. Ralph and Phyllis enjoyed travelling, their favorite travel location being Capri, Italy, where they got an opportunity to swim with famous actress Gracie Fields. They also visited other European countries as well as the USA. 
Phyllis Tarrat passed away as centenarian herself, on February 4, 2011, at the age of 102. They were married for almost 78 years, the United Kingdom’s longest-married couple. In addition to two daughters, they had seven grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. Tarrant smoked until he was 70. He drank whisky occasionally. In January 2013, Tarrant continued to live independently in his two-bedroom flat, did shopping, did his own housework, and cooked his own meals.
Ralph Tarrant became the oldest living man in the United Kingdom following the death of Reg Dean (1902-2013) on January 5, 2013. In the summer of 2013 he was visited by then GRG-UK Correspondent Chris Law. Ralph Tarrant passed away on October 30, 2013 at the age of 110 years, 115 days. In addition to the Doyen of the United Kingdom title, he was the second-oldest living man in Europe behind then 111-year old Arturo Licata of Italy. Following his death, the title of UK Doyen passed to Harold Bracher (who was anonymous at the time), born on November 30, 1904.
Ralph Tarrant’s age was verified by the Tarrant family, GRG-United Kingdom Correspondent Oliver Trim, Chris Law, and M. Page, and validated by the GRG on Mar. 15, 2015.


  • Doyen of the UK (Jan. 5, 2013 – Oct. 30, 2013)
  • Vice-Doyen of Europe

Ralph Tarrant at age 109 in early 2013.

1918; Ralph Tarrant, aged 15, during his time playing for Raleigh football team.

1933; Ralph and Phyllis Tarrant on their wedding day.

Ralph in a motorbike with Phyllis and her sister Muriel in 1935

Tarrant at an RAF training college in 1941.

Ralph with his wife Phyllis in 1979.

Tarrant on his 100th birthday with his wife Phyllis in 2003.

Ralph Tarrant (aged 107) and Phyllis Tarrant (aged 101) in 2010, their 77th year of marriage.

Ralph Tarrant on his 110th birthday in 2013.

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