Noel Vandernotte has died at the age of 96 ©Twitter

Rower Noël Vandernotte, France's youngest ever Olympic medallist, has died at the age of 96 in the French southern region of Gard.

At the age of 12 years and 233 days, Vandernotte competed at the Berlin 1936 Olympics as a coxswain, winning two bronze medals in the coxed pair and coxed four events.

Vandernotte won those medals with Marceau Fourcade and Georges Tapie in the coxed pairs and with his uncle Marcel and father Fernand Vandernotte in the coxed four alongside Marcel Chauvigne and Jean Cosmat.

He remains one of the youngest Olympic medallists to date and behind male gymnast from the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, Dmitrios Loundras, who won bronze in the team event at the age of 10 years and 218 days old.

Speaking in 2008, he detailed his experience of competing at the Games - best known for being hosted by the fascist regime in Germany at the time.

"When I arrived in Berlin, there were Nazi flags everywhere, armed soldiers dressed all in black in the midst of swastika banners," he said.

"When I got home at my parents' home in Nantes, I told them when i was 12 years old: there is going to be war."

Vandernotte was then part of the French Resistance during the Second World War and later attempted to qualify for the 1948 Olympics in London.