John Campbell Ross

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For other people named John Ross, see John Ross (disambiguation).
John Campbell Ross
Born (1899-03-11)11 March 1899
Newtown, Victoria
Died 3 June 2009 (aged 110 years, 84 days)
Bendigo, Victoria
Allegiance  Australia
Service/branch Australian Imperial Force
Volunteer Defence Corps
Years of service 1918
Rank Corporal
Battles/wars First World War
Second World WarEnglish

John Campbell "Jack" Ross (11 March 1899 – 3 June 2009) was at the time of his death Australia's oldest man and the last Australian veteran of the First World War. English-born Claude Choules, who was also living in Australia until his own death in 2011, was a veteran of the Royal Navy.

Early life and family[edit]

Born in Newtown, Victoria, a suburb of Geelong, Ross served as a wireless operator in the Australian Imperial Force, enlisting in January 1918, but never left Australia or saw active service. He later went on to serve in the Second World War as a corporal with the 20th Battalion, Volunteer Defence Corps.[1]

His wife, Irene (née Laird), predeceased him by several decades. He is survived by a son, Robert, a daughter, Peggy Ashburn, four grandchildren- Jeanette, Heather, Kay, and John – and nine great-grand children.[1]


On 11 November 1998, Jack Ross had been awarded the 80th Anniversary Armistice Medal to mark the end of World War I. Jack also had been awarded the Centenary Medal for doing his share to the Australian society in the 100 years since the federation.[1]

The death of William Evan Allan in October 2005 left Ross as the last Australian digger from World War I. However English-born Claude Choules, a World War I veteran who served for Britain, lived in Western Australia. Ross became Australia's oldest man at the age of 108, on 12 June 2007, upon the death of Frank Scarrabelotti. Following the death of 112-year-old E. Beatrice Riley, he was verified as the oldest person in Australia.

Ross celebrated his 110th birthday with chocolates and cake and a commemorative letter from the Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd.[2]


As a civilian, Ross worked for Victorian Railways until he retired in 1964. Ross died peacefully in his sleep at approximately 4 am. at the Golden Oaks Nursing Home in Bendigo on 3 June 2009, aged 110.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Last remaining Digger: Australia's oldest man Jack Ross dies aged 110". The Age. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 
  2. ^ "Australia's oldest man, 110, dies". BBC News. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 

External links[edit]