France's oldest woman dies at 113

Mathilde Aussant was one of 11 children, was married and widowed twice and outlived her daughter

FRANCE'S oldest woman has died at the age of 113 - passing the title to another French woman who has lived to see three different centuries.

Mathilde Aussant was born in Donges (Loire-Atlantique) in February 1898, the fifth of 11 children in her family, and died on Saturday at a hospital in Vendôme, in the Loir-et-Cher.

She started working life as a waitress and moved to Paris at 25, where she worked in a chocolate factory, then as a cleaner and gardienne of a block of flats.

She married twice - both of her husbands were train drivers - and was widowed twice. She then moved in with her only daughter in Paris and outlived her, and has lived in a retirement home since she turned 101.

Mrs Aussant became France's oldest woman last November, following the death of Eugénie Blanchard at 114.

The title now passes to Marcelle Narbonne, who was born a month later and lives in a retirement home in Argèles-sur-Mer in the Pyrénées-Orientales.

The oldest Frenchman is Marc Chevalier, who lives in Oiron in the Deux-Sèvres and is 109.