Photo gallery: Do you want to pay tribute to Norwich’s oldest person, who has died aged 111?

Tributes have been paid to Esme Pearce, Norwich's most senior citizen and the third oldest person in Britain, who has died aged 111.

Mrs Pearce, who was known as Esme although her first name was Irene, died at Corton House residential home, in Norwich, on Thursday, September 6. She was born in the year in which Queen Victoria died, 1901.

One of her two daughters Angela Middis, who lives in Norwich, said: 'She was my mother and we loved her very much. While we are very sad that she has gone, it's not sad for her. She had lived a very long life, and it was her time. We will miss her.'

Earlier this year, Mrs Pearce was the centre of attention at Corton House when it celebrated the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and its own 60th birthday at the same time.

She enjoyed the attention of photographers as she cut the cake for the birthday celebrations.

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A spokesman for Corton House said: 'Esme came to live at Corton House eight years ago. She amazed us then and continued to amaze us, as she increased in age and became a minor celebrity.

'Her love of watching tennis and snooker and reading kept her alert, and up until a few months ago she was still playing whist and scrabble. She will be greatly missed by everybody at Corton House.'

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Mrs Pearce was born in Bristol, married twice and spent most of her working life as a shorthand typist - not retiring until she was 76.

Two years ago she said: 'I have been very lucky to have had very good health, I have done extremely well - and I am still here.

'I am quite a good reader and I like paperbacks, which my daughter keeps me supplied with.'

She also leaves a daughter called Madeline, as well as six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

Before Mrs Pearce became Norwich's oldest person, Gertrude Patrick was thought to be the county's oldest resident before she died just two months short of her 110th birthday in October 2008.

Mrs Pearce's funeral will be held at Earlham Crematorium on Friday, September 21 at 2.15pm. Family flowers only but, if desired, donations in memory of Mrs Pearce to the Friends of Corton House payable to Corton House Limited c/o Peter Taylor Funeral Service, 95 Unthank Road, Norwich NR2 2PE.

Would you like to pay Tribue to Esme Pearce? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email

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