A GREAT GREAT grandmother, whose life spanned three centuries, two world wars and six monarchs, died last week at the age of 111.

Louisa Shephard, thought to be Wales's oldest woman and one of the oldest people in Britain, died suddenly surrounded by her family, last Tuesday, at the Arthur Jenkins residential home in Blaenavon, where she had lived for more than 10 years. Her daughter Doreen Jones said: "She was a wonderful mother. We were lucky to have her so long, and that's why it will be such a loss. It was very sudden. She was ill in the morning, they called the doctor and we all went up. It couldn't have been more peaceful."

Born in Garn-yr-Erw, Blaenavon, on September 14, 1898, before women won the right to vote and when Queen Victoria was on the throne, Mrs Shephard lived in the town all her life.

“The only time she spent away from the area was a brief period spent working as a housekeeper in Pontarddulais to help raise her six brothers and one sister.

Mrs Shephard married her late husband, Harold, in 1930, and the couple had four daughters, Maida, 78, Eileen, 76, Doreen, 75, and Rita, 72.

“She also had 10 grandchildren, two of whom are deceased, 17 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.

Mrs Jones said: “She really enjoyed her life and when she was at her best she loved talking and all the family and meeting people and talking to them. We, as a family, have got to know all the residents at the home, it’s been part of our lives for so long.”

She said her mother hardly suffered from any illnesses during her long life, but lost her sight last year after a fall at the home.

Mrs Jones said: “She really had a good life and enjoyed everything that she was able to do and we will miss her a lot.”

Mrs Shephard’s funeral will be held at the Arthur Jenkins residential home on February 1, followed by a service at Gwent Crematorium.