George Lawrence Price
|George Lawrence Price|
December 15, 1892|
Falmouth, Nova Scotia
|Died||November 11, 1918
|Buried at||St Symphorien Military Cemetery, Mons, Belgium ( )|
|Allegiance||Canada / British Empire|
|Service/branch||Canadian Corps (Army)|
|Years of service||1917–18|
|Unit||28th 'Northwest' Battalion Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment) aka. 'the Nor'westers'|
|Battles/wars||Amiens, Cambrai, & the 'Pursuit to Mons'|
Private George Lawrence Price (Regimental Number: 256265) (December 15, 1892 – November 11, 1918) was a Canadian soldier. He is traditionally recognized as the last soldier of the British Empire to be killed during the First World War.
He was born in Falmouth, Nova Scotia, on December 15, 1892, and raised on Church Street, in what is now Port Williams, Nova Scotia. He lived in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, when he was conscripted on October 15, 1917. He served with "A" Company of the 28th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force.
November 11, 1918
On November 11, Pte Price was part of an advance to take the small village of Havré. After a crossing of the Canal du Centre into the town of Ville-sur-Haine under German machine gun fire, Price and his patrol moved toward a row of houses intent on pursuing the machine gunner who had harassed their crossing of the canal. The patrol had entered the house from which they had thought the shooting had come, but found the Germans had exited through the back door as they entered the front. They then pursued into the house next door and again found it empty. George Price was fatally shot in the chest by a German sniper as he stepped out of the house into the street, against contrary advice from a house occupant, at 10:58 a.m., November 11, 1918. He died just 2 minutes before the armistice ceasefire, that ended the war, came into effect at 11 a.m.
Price was buried in Havre Old Communal Cemetery, one of the cemeteries subsequently concentrated into the St Symphorien military cemetery, just southeast of Mons. Coincidentally, this is also the final resting place of John Parr and George Edwin Ellison, respectively the first and last British soldiers killed during the Great War.
In 1968, on the 50th anniversary of his death and the armistice surviving members of his company traveled to Ville-sur-Haine and a memorial plaque was placed onto a wall of a house near the location of his death. The inscription, in English and then in French, reads in English:
To the memory of 256265 Private George Lawrence Price, 28th North West Battalion, 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division, killed in action near this spot at 10.58 hours, November 11th, 1918, the last Canadian soldier to die on the Western Front in the First World War. Erected by his comrades, November 11th, 1968.
The house has since been torn down, but the plaque has been placed on a brick and stone monument near the site where the house originally stood, and thus still near the place where he fell.
The Town of Ville-sur-Haine, Belgium recently renamed their elementary school in memory of Private George Lawrence Price. Canadian Ambassador to Belgium, Denis Robert attended the official ceremony to unveil the new name, “École George Price”, above the entrance to the school.
In 1991, the town of Ville-sur-Haine erected a new footbridge across the adjacent Canal du Centre, at . A plebiscite was held and on 11 November of that year the bridge was officially named the George Price Footbridge (French: Passerelle George Price).
- Augustin Trébuchon, last French soldier killed in World War I, 10:45 a.m. November 11, 1918
- George Price, Web matters, retrieved 13 November 2010 Contains photographs of canal, monument and plaque.
- Bridger, Geoff (2009). The Great War Handbook. Barnsley: Pen & Sword. p. 182. ISBN 978-1-84415-936-9.
- "November 11, 1918: The Last Hours, The Last Man". NW Battalion. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- "Casualty Details: Price, George Lawrence". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 13 November 2010.
- Lichfield, John (November 8, 2008). "Two soldiers linked in death by a bizarre coincidence". The Independent (London).
- Le Clercq, Jean, Le Rœulx: le village de Ville-sur-Haine (in French), Belgium, retrieved 13 November 2010[non-primary source needed]. Contains photographs of bridge and monument, and record (in English) by Price's nephew George Barkhouse as guest at the naming of the bridge.
- George Lawrence Price, Find A Grave
- Private George Lawrence Price, Last Man Killed in WWI (MS WORD DOC), NW Battalion.
- George Price (ARTICLE), Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
- Pte. Price's monument & bridge in Ville-sur-Haine (IMAGE), Wikimapia.
- Study Group Blog on George Lawrence Price, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Contains eyewitness account of Price's death.