Lazare Ponticelli, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Date of Death


Lazare Ponticelli

World War I veteran, piping and metal worker

Date of Birth: 24-Dec-1897

Place of Birth: Bettola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Date of Death: 12-Mar-2008

Profession: businessperson, military personnel, entrepreneur

Nationality: France

Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

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About Lazare Ponticelli

  • Lazare Ponticelli (born Lazzaro Ponticelli, 24 December 1897, later mistranscribed as 7 December – 12 March 2008), Knight of Vittorio Veneto, was at 110, the last surviving officially recognized veteran of the First World War from France and the last poilu of its trenches to die.Born in Italy, he travelled on his own to France at the age of eight.
  • Aged 16, he lied about his age in order to join the French Army at the start of the war in 1914, before being transferred against his will to the Italian Army the following year.
  • After the war, he and his brothers founded the piping and metal work company Ponticelli Frères (Ponticelli Brothers), which produced supplies for the Second World War effort and as of 2017 was still in business.
  • He also worked with the French Resistance against the Nazis. Ponticelli was the oldest living man of Italian birth and the oldest man living in France at the time of his death.
  • Every Armistice Day until 2007 he attended ceremonies honoring deceased veterans.
  • In his later years, he criticized war, and stored his awards from the First World War in a shoe box.
  • While he felt unworthy of the state funeral the French government offered him, he eventually accepted one.
  • However, he asked that the procession emphasise the common soldiers who died on the battlefield.
  • French president Nicolas Sarkozy honored his wish and dedicated a plaque to them at the procession.

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