Australia's Oldest Man - John Henry "Jack" Lockett OAM

Date of Record: 25/05/2002

22.1.1891 - 25.5.2002

John Henry "Jack" Lockett OAM was a farmer and an Australian veteran of the First World War. At the time of his death, he was 111 years, 123 days old, the oldest Australian man.

Jack was born in the small Victorian town of Waanyarra, near Bendigo.

He left school at the age of 12 to work on a local farm. Later, he worked for his uncles in The Mallee, (Victoria). On 24 March 1916, he travelled to Mildura to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force. He served in France, earning promotion to sergeant and was discharged on 20 September 1919.

After the war he returned to The Mallee and took up farming, on a selected 640 acres (260 ha) block of land in Linga, (Victoria).

In 1923, he married Maybell Ingwerson and they had four children together.

In 1963, the couple retired to Bendigo (Victoria), leaving the farmland in the care of their children and grandchildren.

In 1998, Jack and his known fellow surviving veterans were awarded Chevalier (Knight) of the L├ęgiond' honneur by the French government for their service in the war. In 2000, at the age of 109, he participated in the 2000 Olympic Torch Relay.

On 11 June 2001, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community of Bendigo, particularly as a representative of Australia war veterans.

Jack died of kidney failure at age of 111.

At the time of his death, he was survived by four children; Jack, Kevin, Joyce and Ron; fifteen grandchildren; and twenty-four great-grandchildren.