Last French WW1 veteran dies

Lazare Ponticelli, the last surviving French veteran from the First World War, has died at the age of 110.  He is expected to received a state funeral and France will declare a national day of remembrance. 

Italian troops, 1916Ponticelli was born in Italy in 1897, but moved to France as a child.  At the outbreak of the First World War he lied about his age in order to join the French Foreign Legion, however by 1915 – when Italy entered the war – he was forced to join the Italian Army. 

He served as a machinegunner, fighting on the Austrian front where he was both wounded and gassed during the course of the war.  He eventually took French citizenship and remained there for the rest of his life, running a successful piping business.

Read more from The Times

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