PARIS – France's oldest living World War I veteran, who survived two serious wartime injuries and lived until age 111, died Friday, an association of veterans said.
With Maurice Floquet's death, only four French veterans of the Great War are still alive. Floquet died early Friday at his home in Montauroux, southern France, said Daniel Venget, who runs an association of veterans in the region.
Born Dec. 25, 1894, Floquet fought in battles in France and Belgium and was seriously wounded twice. The first time, he was wounded during hand-to-hand fighting and nearly suffocated on a clot of blood lodged in his throat, according to France's Defense Ministry.
The second time, he was wounded in the head by a grenade, losing the use of one ear, and also suffered bullet wounds in his left arm. After the war, he married and worked as a repairman of cars, tractors and other agricultural machinery. He retired in 1952 and has been a widower since 1990. In 2005, he was honored with a Legion of Honor medal.
Floquet kept in shape by riding a stationary bike in his daughter's home, where he lived, L'Express magazine wrote last year.
He often talked to school classes about his wartime experiences.
Floquet was moved "to be an old man, an 111-year-old who fought in World War I, meeting 12- and 13-year-old kids who only knew about the war from history books," Venget told France-Inter radio.
On Saturday, France will mark the 88th anniversary of the end of World War I in a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe at the top of Paris' famed Champs-Elysees Avenue. One of the surviving World War I veterans, 107-year-old Rene Riffaud, was expected to take part in the ceremony, traveling to Paris from his retirement home in Normandy.