Dwight Wilson (veteran)

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Percy "Dwight" Wilson (February 26, 1901 – May 9, 2007) was the second-to-last surviving Canadian veteran of the First World War.

Born in Vienna, Elgin County, Ontario, he signed up as a 15-year old boy in 1916. When asked about his actual age he told the recruiting officer 16, but faced with soaring casualty rates for each meager yard of territory won and lost, that was good enough for the Canadian Army. On the two week voyage crossing the North Atlantic to England, he entertained the other troops on the R.M.S. Grampian liner with his wonderful singing voice. On arrival, Wilson's youth was quickly discovered, and he never went near the battlefield, before being returned to Canada in 1917. Still determined he enlisted again, winding up once more at Camp Petawawa for military training. The war ended before he got another chance overseas.

He and Eleanor were married in 1927 and they stayed together until she died at the age of 94. They had two sons: Dean and Paul. Shortly after the Second World War began, he enlisted for a third time. Instead of being too young, he was now too old, and he spent the war as a captain in the Perth County Reserves.

Wilson lived at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in the Veterans Residence in Toronto for the last year of his life. He died at the age of 106 from complications of a broken hip that had occurred two weeks earlier. His death left John Babcock, who lived in Spokane, Washington, United States, as the only surviving Canadian First World War veteran.[1]

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