List of last surviving veterans of military insurgencies and wars

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This a chronological list of the last surviving veterans of military insurgencies, conflicts, and wars around the world. The listed wars span from the 17th century to the beginning of World War II.

Contents

Classical and Biblical eras[edit]

Middle Ages[edit]

  • Don Mancio Sierra de Leguízamo (1512-1589) - Last Spanish Conquistador.[5]

Early modern period[edit]

These cases, particularly with respect to the ages claimed by the veterans, cannot be verified as it was common in pre-industrialised societies for elders to exaggerate their age.

  • Andreas Nielsen (1660–1782) — Norwegian soldier. Claimed to be the last Scanian War veteran, and says he had a long military career and had seen many battles.[6][8]

English Civil War[edit]

First Anglo-Dutch War[edit]

Great Northern War[edit]

War of the Polish Succession, War of the Austrian Succession[edit]

Russo-Turkish War[edit]

Jacobite rising[edit]

Seven Years' War[edit]

French and Indian War[edit]

Gaspée Affair[edit]

  • Ephrim Bowen (1753-1841) - Colonial American pirate[23]

American Revolutionary War[edit]

  • Daniel Bakeman (1759–1869) — Alleged veteran. Awarded pension via Congress, though no support of service has been located.[24]
  • John Gray (1764–1868) — Last verifiable veteran although period of service was too short for him for pension qualification.[25]
  • Samuel Downing (1764–1867)[26]
  • Lemuel Cook (1759–1866) — Last official veteran; honorable discharge signed by George Washington.[27]

French Revolution[edit]

  • Nicolas Savin (1768–1894) — Enlisted in 2nd Regiment of Hussars in 1798. 1768 figure proclaims he was approximately 126 at time of death. Later served under Napoleon and was awarded the Legion d'Honneur.[28]

Napoleonic Wars[edit]

  • Jean Adrin (1797–1902) — Last French veteran.[29] In 1912 there were three Polish men who claimed to have fought at Borodino, but it is unlikely they were real veterans due to lack of documentation and age ranges relatively high from 120 to 133.
  • Geert Adriaans Boomgaard (1788–1899) — Last Dutch veteran and Europe's oldest man at the time of his death. He fought for France in the 33ème Régiment Léger.[28]
  • Louis Victor Baillot (1793–1898) — French veteran. Last Battle of Waterloo veteran. Saw action at siege of Hamburg.[30]
  • Pedro Martinez (1789–1898) — Last Battle of Trafalgar veteran. Served in Spanish navy on San Juan Nepomuceno.[28]
  • Leonard Meesters (1796–1896) — Last Belgian veteran. Fought for Napoleon.[28]
  • Josephine Mazurkewicz (1794–1896) — Last female veteran. Assistant surgeon in Napoleon's army. Later partook in Crimean War.[28]
  • Sir Provo Wallis (1791–1892) — Canada.[31]
  • Morris Shea (1795–1892) — 73rd Foot — Last Scottish veteran.[32]
  • Vasilij Nikolaevich Kochetkov (1785-1892) Russian Imperial Army. Enlisted 7th March 1811. Served in Grenadier Lifeguard Regiment at Borodino. Served 66 1/2 years until 12th October 1877 when wounded out of service in the Russian-Ottoman War. [33][34][35]
  • Joseph Sutherland (1789–1890) — Last English veteran. Royal Navy. Last British survivor of Trafalgar.[36]

War of 1812[edit]

Finnish War[edit]

  • Carl Gustav Polviander (1784-1876) - Finland[39]

Greek War of Independence[edit]

Texas War of Independence[edit]

Black Hawk War[edit]

  • Henry L. Riggs (1812–1911)[42]

Rebellions of 1837[edit]

Mexican-American War[edit]

Crimean War[edit]

Italian Unification[edit]

  • Francois Ribet (1835–1936) — Died in France.[28]

Expedition of the Thousand[edit]

Third Italian War of Independence[edit]

New Zealand Wars[edit]

  • Edwin Bezar (1838–1936), last British soldier. Settled in New Zealand.

American Civil War[edit]

Union[edit]

Confederate[edit]

Name Claimed birth date Believed birth date Death date Status
Pleasant Crump 23 December 1847 31 December 1951 Verified
Felix M. Witkoski 5 January 1850 October 1854 3 February 1952 Debunked
Thomas Edwin Ross 19 July 1850 27 March 1952 Unknown
Richard William Cumpston 23 May 1841 5 September 1952 No evidence
William Loudermilk[51] 23 October 1848 April 1851[52] 18 September 1952 No evidence
William Jordan Bush[53] 10 July 1845 July 1846 11 November 1952 Probable
Arnold Murray[54] 10 June 1846 1854/1855 26 November 1952 Debunked
William Townsend[53][55] 12 April 1846 22 February 1953 Possible
William Albert Kinney 10 February 1843 10 February 1861 23 June 1953 Debunked
Thomas Riddle 16 April 1846 1862[56] 2 April 1954 No evidence
William Lundy 18 January 1848 May 1860 1 September 1957 Debunked
John B. Salling[57] 15 May 1846 15 May 1856 16 March 1959 Debunked
Walter Williams 14 November 1842 14 November 1854 19 December 1959 Debunked

Most cases are questionable, though it should be remembered that many Confederate records were destroyed or lost to history. Unlike the U.S. military archives, the Confederate records had no official archive system after the war. However, for most of the cases investigated, the ages of the claimants alone were enough to prove their claim was false. Williams was generally acknowledged as the "last Confederate veteran" in 1950s newspapers. However, in September 1959 an exposé by The New York Times revealed that he was in fact born in 1854 in Itawamba County, Mississippi, and not 1842 as claimed. Still, since Salling and all the other claimants were dead, Williams was celebrated as the last Confederate veteran after his death on 20 December 1959.[58]

Salling's own status is disputed. In 1991, William Marvel examined the claims of Salling and several other "last Civil War veterans" for a piece in the Civil War history magazine Blue & Gray. Marvel found census data that indicated Salling was born in 1858, not 1846. Although in 1900 Salling supplied a birthdate of March 1858, he appears to have been born around 1856, still too late to have served in the Confederate Army. The 1860 census lists him as 4 years old, and the 1870 census as 14.[57] William Lundy is listed as 1 year old on the 1860 census, and from 1870 until 1930 he gave census marshals ages that reflected birthdates as early as 1853 and as late as 1860. He did not push his birthdate back to the 1840s until he applied for a Confederate pension from the state of Florida. In the same piece, Marvel confirmed Woolson's claim to be the last surviving Union veteran and asserted that Woolson was the last genuine Civil War veteran on either side. However, Marvel did not present research establishing who, among the several other Confederate claims from the 1950s, some of which appear to be genuine, was the real last Confederate veteran.

French invasion of Mexico[edit]

  • Jules Pujos (1846–1942) — France.[28]

January Uprising[edit]

  • Feliks Bartczuk (1846–1946) — Last veteran.[59]

Second Schleswig War[edit]

  • Ove Henning Jacobsen (1841–1941) — Last Danish veteran.[60]

Fenian Raids[edit]

Indian Wars[edit]

Franco-Prussian War[edit]

  • Seraphin Pruvost (1849–1955) — Last French veteran.[28]
  • Karl Glöckner (1845–1953) — Last German veteran.[28]

Paris Commune[edit]

  • Adrien Lejeune (1847–1942) — Last Communard.[28][67]
  • Emile Chausse (1850–1941) — Left army and joined the communards in 1870.[28]
  • Antonin Desfarges (1851–1941) — Last Communard député.[28]

Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878)[edit]

  • Konstantin Vikent'evich Hrutskij (1855-1967) — Preobrazhenskij Lifeguard Regiment [68]

Zulu War[edit]

Northwest Rebellion[edit]

Spanish-American War[edit]

Boer War[edit]

Potemkin Mutiny[edit]

Mexican Revolution[edit]

World War I[edit]

October Revolution[edit]

Finnish Civil War[edit]

Russian Civil War[edit]

Polar Bear Expedition[edit]

Greater Poland Uprising (1918–1919)[edit]

  • Jan Rzepa (1899–2005) — Last Polish fighter.[88]

German Revolution of 1918–19[edit]

Polish-Ukrainian War[edit]

Estonian War of Independence[edit]

  • Ants Ilus (1901–2006) — Died in Estonia.[94]
  • Karl Jaanus (1899–2000) — Last surviving Cross of Liberty recipient awarded during war.[95]

Latvian War of Independence[edit]

Irish War of Independence[edit]

Polish–Soviet War[edit]

Silesian Uprisings[edit]

  • Wilhelm Meisel (1904–2009) — Last survivor.[101][102]

Turkish War of Independence[edit]

Greco-Turkish War[edit]

March on Rome[edit]

  • Vasco Bruttomesso (1903–2009)[104]

Northern Expedition[edit]

Nanchang Uprising[edit]

Chittagong armoury raid[edit]

Brazilian Revolution of 1930[edit]

Xi'an Incident[edit]

Battle of Lake Khasan[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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