List of last surviving World War I veterans

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The following is a list of known veterans of the First World War (28 July 1914 – 11 November 1918) who died in 2009 (5 veterans), 2010 (1 veteran), 2011 (2 veterans) and 2012 (1 veteran). WRAF member Florence Green, who died on 4 February 2012, was the last surviving veteran of any nation.

Veterans by country of service – 9 veterans[edit]

On 27 June 2006, the British Government approved a National Memorial Service at Westminster Abbey, to take place after the death of the last known World War I veteran from the United Kingdom. On 11 November 2009, despite the survival to that date of Claude Choules and Florence Green, the commemoration was held following the death of Harry Patch.[1] On 21 November 2006, the Canadian House of Commons approved a state funeral for the last World War I veteran to have served in the Canadian forces,[2] but this was declined by John Babcock.

Country served Name Born Died Notes
 Australia Ross, John Campbell (Jack) 11 March 1899 3 June 2009 (110) Last Australian digger and the last veteran of any status to serve Australia in the conflict. Joined in early 1918 as wireless operator, but did not see action. Served in Home Guard in World War II. Australia's oldest person. Lived in Bendigo, Victoria.[3][4][5][6]
Canada Canada Babcock, John Henry Foster (Jack) 23 July 1900 18 February 2010 (109) Last Canadian veteran. Declined state funeral. Joined in 1916. Served first in 146th, CEF, then transferred to Boys Battalion. Completed training in UK but did not see action due to age. Moved to US in 1924. Lived in Spokane, Washington.[7][8][9][10]
 United Kingdom Allingham, Henry William 6 June 1896 18 July 2009 (113) Last airman. Served in the 12 Squadron RNAS (later RAF). Joined in 1915 as mechanic. Last veteran of the Battle of Jutland. World's oldest man and oldest ever British man. Oldest veteran ever to see action. Lived in Brighton, Sussex.[11][12][13]
 United Kingdom Choules, Claude Stanley 3 March 1901 5 May 2011 (110) Last living combatant of World War I.[14] Last seaman. Last veteran who served in both World Wars. Last male veteran. Joined in 1916. Last witness to the German Naval surrender. Moved to Australia in 1926 and served with Royal Australian Navy in World War II. Lived in Perth, Western Australia.[15][16][17][18]
 United Kingdom Green, Florence Beatrice 19 February 1901 4 February 2012 (110) Last veteran. Worked as a waitress in the Women's Royal Air Force.[19] Lived in North Lynn, Norfolk.[20]
 United Kingdom Hughes, Netherwood (Ned) 12 June 1900 4 April 2009 (108) Called up to the 51st Manchester Regiment in mid 1918 as truck driver. Did not see action as he was still in training. Lived in Accrington, Lancashire.[21][22]
 United Kingdom Patch, Henry John (Harry) 17 June 1898 25 July 2009 (111) Last Tommy. Served in the British Army under the 7th Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. Last veteran to serve in trenches and to be wounded in action. Called up in 1916. Last survivor of Battle of Passchendaele. Fireman in World War II. Europe's oldest man upon death. Lived in Wells, Somerset.[23][24][25][26]
 United Kingdom Stone, William Frederick (Bill) 23 September 1900 10 January 2009 (108) Joined Royal Navy in 1918. Did not see action as he was still in training, but was also a World War II veteran. Lived in Reading, Berkshire at the time of his death.[27][28]
 United States Buckles, Frank Woodruff 1 February 1901 27 February 2011 (110) United States Army 1st Fort Riley Casual Detachment Last American veteran. Joined in 1917. Ambulance driver near Western Front. Held prisoner in World War II as a civilian. Lived in Charles Town, West Virginia.[29][30][31]

Unverified World War I veterans – 4 veterans[edit]

Listed here are the veterans who were not verified as a World War I veteran.

Country served Name Born Died Notes
 Italy Dal Santo, Sante 8 September 1902 26 February 2009 (106) Claimed to have joined up in 1916 at the age of 14 as a "Digger" digging trenches and tunnels. Also served in World War II. Lived in Montecchio Precalcino.[32][33]
 Italy Dozzi, Carlo 25 January 1901 30 May 2009 (108) Claimed to have joined up in 1917 at the age of 16 as a "Digger" digging trenches and tunnels. Also served in World War II. Lived in Maniago.[34]
 United Kingdom Futcher, Harry 21 April 1904 27 May 2010 (106) Claimed to have joined up in 1918 at the age of 14 as a bandsman in the British Army serving in Egypt during the First World War. Lived in Dorset, England.[35][36]
 United Kingdom Terrey, Douglas Edward (Doug) 23 June 1903 26 June 2010 (107) Claimed to have joined up in 1917 as bicycle courier delivering messages in the Southampton Military District. Served in Home Guard in World War II. Lived in Southampton, Hampshire.[37][38]

World War I era veterans – 7 veterans[edit]

Listed here are those that joined the armed services after the Armistice date, but before the Treaty of Versailles was signed, or where there is debate on their join-date, or whose military service is sometimes viewed as outside the scope of "WWI", but are considered World War I-era veterans by the press or by their respective governments, or served in a related conflict.

Country served Name Born Died Notes
 Brazil Cardoso, Waldemar Levy 4 December 1900 13 May 2009 (108) Last Brazilian World War I-Era veteran, served in the Brazilian Army, joining in late 1918 but did not see action. Lieutenant Colonel in World War II. Last living Brazilian field marshal. Later lived in Rio de Janeiro.[39][40]
 Finland Arvonen, Aarne Armas (Arska) 4 August 1897 1 January 2009 (111) Last Red Guard veteran from the Finnish Civil War. Oldest Nordic person and Finland's oldest ever man. Last living Finn born in the 19th century. Lived in Järvenpää.[41][42][43]
 Finland Nurminen, Lauri 9 September 1906 20 February 2009 (102) Last White Guard and possibly last Finnish Civil War veteran. Served in Ernst Linders Satakunta army group. Lived in Valkeakoski, Finland.[44]
 Germany Fink, Helmut 18 March 1901 27 April 2009 (108) Last German Revolution veteran and last German World War I-Era veteran, served in the Freikorps during the German Revolution of 1918-1919. Lived in Germany.[citation needed]
 Poland Kowalski, Józef 2 February 1900 7 December 2013 (113) Last World War I-era veteran, fought in the Polish Soviet War between 1919-21.[citation needed]
 Poland Meisel, Wilhelm 1904 2009 (105) Last Silesian Uprisings veteran, joined up in 1919 at the age of 15 and served for the Polish Army during the Silesian uprising until it ended in 1921. Lived in Poland.[citation needed]
 United States Rex, Robley Henry 2 May 1901 28 April 2009 (107) Last American World War I-era veteran, Joined 5th Infantry Division in May 1919. Later moved to 28th Infantry. Served in Intelligence Unit. Lived in Louisville, Kentucky.[45][46][47]

Totals – 20 veterans[edit]

  • Verified veterans – 9
  • Unverified veterans – 4
  • World War I-Era veterans – 7

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Last WWI veteran to be honoured". BBC News. 2006-06-27. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  2. ^ "First World War veterans don't want state funeral". CBC News. 2007-01-02. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  3. ^ "Last Aussie digger to fight in WWI dies". The Age. 2005-10-18. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  4. ^ Turnbull, Jeff (2008-03-11). "Oldest Digger celebrates turning 109". news.com.au. Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  5. ^ "Australia's oldest man Jack Ross dies aged 110". theage.com.au. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  6. ^ "Australia's oldest man, 110, dies". BBC News. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  7. ^ "Oldest Canadian World War I veteran dies". WKOW. 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  8. ^ "Canada's last WW I veteran dies". CBC News. 2010-02-19. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  9. ^ Elliot, Ian (2010-02-19). "Last World War I vet Babcock dies at 109". The Kingston Whig Standard. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  10. ^ Geranios, Nicholas K (2010-02-20). "John Babcock, 108; Canada’s last known veteran of WWI". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  11. ^ Smith, David (2006-10-29). "Great War foes embrace as friends". The Observer. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  12. ^ Mccaffrey, Julie (2006-10-30). "Old Enemies.. New Friends". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  13. ^ "Oldest WWI veteran dies aged 113". BBC News. 2009-07-18. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  14. ^ Choules, Claude The Last of the Last Mainstream Publishing pg 11 (introduction) & pg 61
  15. ^ "Veteran, 107, is last man to serve in both world wars". Worcester News. 2008-11-08. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  16. ^ Booth, Gary (2002-05-13). "500 km by bike to demolish Albany". Navy News. Retrieved 2007-07-06. 
  17. ^ Claude, 108 ... last of the WW1 heroes
  18. ^ Agence France-Presse (27 July 2009). "Claude Choules says WWI was 'boring'". The Australian. Retrieved 2009-08-02. "Mr Choules was informed by his 80-year-old daughter Anne Pow over the weekend that the death of 111-year-old Harry Patch, Britain's last soldier who fought in the Great War's infamous trenches, had made him the country's sole survivor." 
  19. ^ "Last WWI combat veteran Claude Choules dies aged 110". BBC News. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  20. ^ "Norfolk first world war veteran dies aged 110". Eastern Daily Press. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  21. ^ Kenyon, Lisa (2008-06-20). "Old Ned's still in top gear for his 108th milestone". Accrington Observer. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  22. ^ Bingham, John (2008-11-20). "'New' First World War veteran comes to light through internet". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  23. ^ "WWI veteran celebrates 108 years". BBC Online News. 2006-10-30. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  24. ^ "Veteran, 109, revisits WWI trench". BBC Online News. 2007-07-29. Retrieved 2007-07-29. 
  25. ^ Patch, Harry; van Emden, Richard (2007). The Last Fighting Tommy. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-7475-9115-3. 
  26. ^ WWI veteran Patch dies aged 111
  27. ^ Stone, Bill (2009-01-11). "Naval and Other Memories of William Frederick Stone". H.M.S. Hood Association. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  28. ^ BBC News (2009-01-29). "Funeral of World War I veteran". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  29. ^ "Oldest Living Heroes Remembered". CBS News. 2006-11-11. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  30. ^ Reynolds, Dean, and Stuart, Elizabeth (2006-12-02). "Last WWI Veterans Get Their Due". ABC News. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  31. ^ Courson, Paul (2011-02-28). "Last living U.S. World War I veteran dies". CNN. Retrieved 2011-02-28. 
  32. ^ "Alpino Sante Dal Santo – il vecio dei veci" (in Italian). Mett Ivia. 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2009-01-26. [dead link]
  33. ^ Arbori, Giuseppe. "Sante dal Santo – Classe 1902" (in Italian). Ana Vicenza. Retrieved 2009-01-26. [dead link]
  34. ^ "Name "v3_s2ew_CONSULTAZIONE.mostra_pagina?id_pagina=373 "CARLO DOZZI" MANIAGO&hl=it&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=it" is longer than 30 chars" (in Italian). Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  35. ^ "East Dorset man celebrates 106th birthday". Daily Echo. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  36. ^ Obituary of Harry Futcher
  37. ^ "Army remembers old soldier Doug". Southern Daily Echo. 2003-06-27. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  38. ^ "105th birthday – Mr Douglas Terrey". Marchwood Parish Council. 2008-09-28. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 
  39. ^ Lacerda Ramalho, Henrique. "Waldemar Levy Cardoso" (in Portuguese). Rivkah. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  40. ^ Cohen, Vivianne. "Testemunhas do Seculo" (in Portuguese). Terra. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  41. ^ Seppälä, Anu (1999-12-24). "Arska, entering his third century and NOT "growing old gracefully"". Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  42. ^ Kauppinen, Perttu (2002-08-06). "At age 105, Aarne Arvonen still knows how to enjoy life". Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  43. ^ HS, STT (2009-01-16). "Suomen viimeinen 1800-luvulla syntynyt kuoli". Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  44. ^ Koikkalainen, Olli (2009-03-05). "The last freedom fighter buried with pine sword". Valkeakoski Sanomat. Retrieved 2010-04-08. 
  45. ^ Stapleton, Ellen R. (2003-11-09). "Ky.'s oldest veteran, 102, still devoted to service". The Enquirer. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  46. ^ Senator McConnell, Mitch (2008-05-12). "Honouring Robley Rex". Govtrack. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  47. ^ Shafer, Sheldon S. and Burba, Paula (2009-04-28). "Robley Rex, WWI-era vet, dies at age 107". The Courier Journal. Retrieved 2009-04-29. [dead link]