The oldest nurse and our 10 oldest military casualties




To determine which soldiers were the ten oldest military casualties of WWI, at the time of their death, we took into consideration the 20,023 casualties only of which we have their date of birth and date of death.

These statistic exclude 660 casualties of which we have pictures of their graves but we don’t have their data on birth and death.

We also cannot take into account the unknown and missing soldiers, probably more than 10,000, or the soldiers who disappeared from civil cemeteries where they once rested.

We can only draw conclusions from the data available.



The oldest victim buried in a Belgian military cemetery is sister Stephanie Malfait from Kortrijk.

She was born on September 24, 1836 and she died in Calais on November 13, 1916 in the blessed age of 80 years.

She was a member of the medical corps. She rests in the Belgian military cemetery of Calais Nord in grave 982.

Our eldest military victim was Lieutenant Colonel Alexandre Paulis,

born in Heusy on October 16, 1846.

According to his military record he was commander of the artillery of the fortress of the city of Antwerp.

He died in Villeurbanne on June 15, 1918 and is buried in the Villeurbanne military cemetery at the porte de la Doua.

This makes Alexandre not only the oldest soldier in the service, but also the oldest victim.

Gustaaf Keppens from Buggenhout was born on March 21, 1851.

He was a soldier at the railway battalion and died in Saint-Aubin-lès-Elbeuf in France on October 31, 1918, where he is buried in the honorary park at the civil cemetery.

Prosper Remy was born in Elsene on January 24, 1950.

He was a corporal in the 1st regiment of the French Foreign Legion.

He died on March 1, 1915 in hospital nr. 30 in Rennes of the consequences of a poorly treated pneumonia.

He was buried in the honorary park of the huge Rennes cemetery in France.

Jean Gerard was born in Assenois on March 5, 1856.

He was adjutant in the artillery regiment of the Liège citadel.

He died in the military hospital of Liège on September 1, 1919 from wounds sustained during the war.

He is buried in the honorary park of Liège Walburge cemetery.

Clement Hagens was born in Antwerp on August 30, 1855.

He died from injuries in Calais on February 9, 1919.

He was militarized citizen in the Belgian airforce.

He is buried in Calais Nord in grave 295.

Jean Jeurissen was born in Gent on April 10, 1956.

At the time of the mobilisation, he lived in Schaarbeek.

He was a lieutenant in the 3rd Infantry Regiment.

As a result of a gas attack, he spent a long time in the Villa Speranza in Les Planches on Lake Neufchâtel in Switzerland.

When he returned to Belgium after the war, his condition worsened and he was taken back, this time in the military hospital of Ixelles, on May 30, 1919.

He died in hospital on June 20, 1919 and was buried in the honorary park of the civil cemetery of Elsene.

Victor Soudan was born in Brussels on November 12, 1855.

He was adjutant in the 13th infantry regiment.

He died on May 7, 1927 in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, where he was treated for a lung problems incurred as a result of German gas attacks.

He is also buried there.

Pierre Courra was just like Gustaaf Keppens born on March 21, but in 1855.

Also as Gustaaf Keppens he was a soldier (chief ajusteur) in the railway brigade.

He died on August 10, 1917.

He is buried in Adinkerke in grave 882.

Antoon Reinken from Leuven was a corporal battle-dress tailor.

He was born on March 22, 1856 and died on April 5, 1918 in the hospital of Saint-Aubin-lès-Elbeuf.

He is buried in the same honorary park with Gustaaf Keppens and 6 other Belgian soldiers.

Isidore Steppé was born in Outer on May 6, 1855.

At the outbreak of the First World War he was an officer with the rank of major in the militairy reserve.

At that time he lived in Brussels in the Crauxstraat 153.

He probably got wounded in the early days of the war and got treatment in the military hospital of Etterbeek, where he died on February 8, 1917 under the supervision of the German occupiers.

He was buried in the honorary park of the civil cemetery of Elsene.




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