He inherited the job of executioner from his father Maurice Meyssonnier in 1947 when he ended compulsory education. His ancestors had been executioners from ages ago. When Algeria became independent from France in 1961, the guillotine was replaced by execution by firing squad.
In 1961, shortly before Algerian independence, Fernand Meyssonnier went to Tahiti where he met his future wife with whom he had a daughter, and founded several businesses. After his retirement, he went to metropolitan France. He bought a house in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse where he died on August 8, 2008.
Meyssonnier has been sometimes errorously refeered to as the "last (French) executioner alive", while not only he never officially assumed the post, but he died the same year as Marcel Chevalier, the last French Chief Executioner, who served from 1976 to 1977.
|Acting Chief Executioner of the French Algeria
1947 - 1961
Algeria became independence