ONE of the UK’s oldest residents has died of coronavirus.

Audrey Grogan, who was 109-years-old, had been living at Blackbrook Care Home in Dedham until she became ill with Covid-19.

Mrs Grogan, a former nurse, lost her battle with the virus on January 4.

Mrs Grogan was one of only 30 people in the country, who had lived past 109.

Relative Ann Cummings, 81, said she believed she could well have seen her 110th birthday in July if she had not contracted the virus.

Just six months ago the renowned mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins sang her an acapella version of You Are My Sunshine as a present for Audrey’s 109th birthday.

Ms Cummings said: “Audrey celebrated her 109th birthday with a virtual visit from the well-known opera singer Katherine Jenkins.

“Katherine was kind enough to make this birthday special and sang some of Audrey’s favourite other songs.”

Ms Cummings said she never had the chance to meet Mrs Grogan, but felt close to her by reading letters Mrs Grogan wrote to her grandmother.

“I was a child at this time and Audrey was living in Western Australia where she was nursing and had relations around her,” she said.

Ian Fieldgate, a relative from Western Australia, said it was amazing Mrs Grogan was one of the oldest living people in the whole of the UK.

He said: “Not being able to attend the funeral in the UK has devastated us in Western Australia due to travel restrictions.”

Audrey was orphaned at the age of three after her parents died from Tuberculosis.

She grew up not knowing most of her extended family in England and Australia until later in life when she became an assistant nurse.

In 1947, Mrs Grogan made application to emigrate to Australia.

She travelled to the country a number of times between 1949 and 1951.

But she returned to England to marry John Grogan, a widower, in 1961 in Colchester.

They met when she was working at a hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia.

The couple lived a good life, where Mrs Grogan enjoyed playing a pivotal role in her church community.

She moved into Blackbrook House in November 2018.