Maurice Noël Floquet
was, at age 111, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
's oldest man on record and was one of the last surviving French veterans of World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...
. He was, at the age of 111 years and 320 days, France's longest-lived soldier ever. Moreover, Maurice was France's oldest living man for more than four years. France's oldest person was a woman, Jeanne Calment
Jeanne Louise Calment was a French supercentenarian who had the longest confirmed human life span in history, living to the age of . She lived in Arles, France, for her entire life, and outlived both her daughter and grandson. She became especially well known from the age of 113, when the...
, aged 122 years 164 days when she died, who still remains the oldest verified person ever, is more than a decade older than Floquet.
During the First World War
Floquet was in the artillery during World War I. His military history has been variously reported. It was said that he joined in September 1914 and served on the Belgian front in December 1914. He was wounded on several occasions. The first of these wounds came at the second Battle of the Marne. A second occurred at the Somme during hand-to-hand fighting with bayonets. The third wound occurred at Beauséjour
Beauséjour was a village in France that was largely destroyed in World War I. It was part of the commune of Minaucourt-le-Mesnil-lès-Hurlus ....
part of the Neuve Chapelle; a lump of rock pierced Maurice's throat and obstructed his breathing. By all accounts it was an enemy soldier who removed the rock and so saved Maurice's life.
A year later, and back on the front line, Maurice was again wounded in the head and left arm when a grenade exploded. The hole in Maurice's head was patched up by a nurse who found a piece of someone else's cartilage. Maurice's outer ear was blown off. After recuperating, toward the end of the war, Maurice was sent to a bomb factory, and was decommissioned in 1919.
Maurice still had a German bullet lodged in his arm.
After the war
After the war, Maurice married and became a tractor repairman. He worked his garden until he was over age 100. At age 110 he still rode an exercise bike for 20 minutes a day in the backyard of his apartment — an unusual feat for a supercentenarian
A supercentenarian is someone who has reached the age of 110 years. This age is achieved by about one in a thousand centenarians....
. However, by November 2006, Floquet was described as 'confined to bed'.
Maurice became France's oldest living veteran on 30 March 2002, following the passing of 109-year-old Hilaire D'Harboulle. He may also have become the oldest living man in France around that time. Clearly, he was by his 110th birthday.
On 25 December 2004 (his 110th birthday), Maurice was promoted by president Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...
to the rank of officer in the Légion d'honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...
In May 2006, Maurice became France's oldest verified man on record, when he surpassed Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...
n-born Émile Fourcade (1884–1995), who lived to age 111 years and 153 days.
By all accounts, Maurice enjoyed watching sports on TV and, being a little vain, didn't like to wear his eyeglasses. He was allowed one full glass of red wine every day — and champagne on special occasions.
Since the death of George Johnson
George Henry Johnson was, at the time of his death, California's oldest man and one of the last few surviving veterans of the First World War in the United States.-Life:...
on 30 August 2006, he was perhaps the last living man born in 1894. (It is unknown whether Moses Hardy
Moses Hardy was, at age 112 or 113, the last black veteran of World War I and one of the last surviving American veterans of that war. The son of former slaves, Hardy was born in either 1893 or 1894 and lived a religious and farming life until he signed up to serve overseas in World War I in July...
was born in 1893 or 1894.) The death of Johnson moved Floquet up to third-oldest man in the world. However, including women he was only ranked 28th overall.
In October 2006, Maurice sent letters to Henry Allingham
Henry William Allingham was a British supercentenarian, First World War veteran and, for one month, the verified oldest living man in the world...
(then Britain's oldest man and oldest living veteran) and Robert Meier
Robert Meier was, at the age of 109, Germany's oldest living man, a combat-wounded veteran of the First World War and one of Germany's last surviving veterans of that war. Meier became Germany's oldest living man on March 2, 2005, when he was age 107, following the death of 111-year-old Hermann...
(Germany's oldest man and oldest living veteran at the time). The three shared the unique status of each being both the oldest man and oldest veteran of their respective countries. (France's then newly crowned oldest man, Aimé Avignon, who was born on 2 February 1897, thus making him almost 110 years old, did not serve in the war.) At the time of his death, Floquet was the oldest living man in Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...
Floquet died at the age of 111 years. He died one day before the anniversairy of the end of the war.