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 13th century BC to the beginning of World War II. Most last survivors of particular campaigns or wars were junior officers or soldiers/naval ratings of non-commissioned rank in the early years of their service careers at the time.

Contents

Classical antiquity[edit]

Middle Ages[edit]

Muslim–Quraysh Wars (622–630)[edit]

Norman conquest of England (1066–1088)[edit]

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.

17th century[edit]

Indian Wars (1622–1924)[edit]

English Civil War (1642–51)[edit]

First Anglo-Dutch War (1652–54)[edit]

18th century[edit]

Great Northern War (1700–21)[edit]

War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14)[edit]

Jacobite risings (1719–45)[edit]

War of the Polish Succession (1733–38)[edit]

Russo-Turkish wars (1735–74)[edit]

French and Indian War (1754–63)[edit]

Seven Years' War (1754–63)[edit]

American Revolutionary War (1775–83)[edit]

  • Daniel Bakeman (1759–1869) – United States. Alleged veteran. Awarded pension via Congress, though no support of service has been located.[40]
  • John Gray (1764–1868) – United States. Last verifiable veteran although period of service was too short for him for pension qualification.[41][40]
  • Samuel Downing (1764–1867) – United States.[40]
  • Lemuel Cook (1759–1866) – United States. Last official veteran; honorable discharge signed by George Washington.[40]

French Revolution (1789–99)[edit]

Irish Rebellion of 1798[edit]

19th century[edit]

Napoleonic Wars (1803–15)[edit]

  • Vincent Markiewicz (1795?–1903) – France. Last Polish veteran. Fought for Napoleon.[47] 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) – France. Last Dutch veteran and verified veteran. Europe's oldest man at the time of his death. He fought for Napoleon in the 33ème Régiment Léger.[45]
  • Louis Victor Baillot (1793–1898) – France. Last veteran of the Battle of Waterloo. Also saw action at siege of Hamburg.[48][49]
  • Pedro Antonio Martínez Zia (1789?–1898) – Spain. Last veteran of the Battle of Trafalgar. Served in the navy aboard San Juan Nepomuceno.[50][51]
  • Lars Jespersen Kike (1796–1897) – Norway. Last Norwegian veteran of the Swedish-Norwegian War.[52][53]
  • Leonard Meesters (1796–1896) – France. Last Belgian veteran. Fought for Napoleon.[45]
  • Josephine Mazurkewicz (1794–1896) – France. Last female veteran. Assistant surgeon in Napoleon's army. Later partook in Crimean War.[45]
  • Sir Provo Wallis (1791–1892) – United Kingdom. Last Canadian veteran. Served in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and War of 1812.[54]
  • Maurice Shea (1795–1892) – United Kingdom. Last Irish veteran and last British Army participant of Waterloo. Served in the 73rd Foot.[55][56]
  • Vasilij Nikolaevich Kochetkov (1785?–1892) – Russia. Enlisted 7 March 1811. Served in Grenadier Lifeguard Regiment at Borodino. Served 66 1/2 years until 12 October 1877 when wounded out of service in the Russian-Ottoman War.[57]
  • Joseph Sutherland (1789–1890) – United Kingdom. Last English veteran. Served in the Royal Navy and was the last British survivor of Trafalgar.[58]

War of 1812 (1812–15)[edit]

  • Hiram Cronk (1800–1905) – United States. Served in a New York Infantry Regiment.[59]
  • Sir Provo Wallis (1791–1892) – United Kingdom. Served in the Royal Navy. Also a Napoleonic Wars veteran.[54]

Seminole Wars (1816–58)[edit]

Greek War of Independence (1821–32)[edit]

  • John W. Stainer (1808–1907) – United Kingdom. Served in the Royal Navy and was the last survivor of the Battle of Navarino.[61]

July Revolution (1830)[edit]

Belgian Revolution (1830–31)[edit]

Black Hawk War (1832)[edit]

  • Henry L. Riggs (1812–1911) – United States.[70]

Texas War of Independence (1835–36)[edit]

Rebellions of 1837[edit]

Mexican–American War (1846–1848)[edit]

Hungarian Revolution of 1848–49[edit]

  • József Fischl (1827–1929) — Hungary. Served at Isaszeg and Segesvár.[79]
  • István Lebo (1826–1928) — Hungary. Last resident of the Hungarian Veterans Home.[79]
  • Artúr Görgey (1818–1916) — Hungary. Last Hungarian General.

Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848–49)[edit]

First Schleswig War (1848–51)[edit]

  • Jørgen Jørgensen Birkholm (1829–1931) — Denmark.[81]
  • Detlef Marxen (1826–1930) — Germany.[82][83]

Crimean War (1853–56)[edit]

Indian Mutiny (1857–59)[edit]

  • Charles Palmer (1847–1940) — British Empire. Nine-year-old boy who participated in the Siege of Lucknow.
  • George Chrystie (1841–1939) — British Empire. Last British Army veteran.[89][90]

New Zealand Wars (1845–72)[edit]

Second Italian War of Independence (1859)[edit]

American Civil War (1861–65)[edit]

Union[edit]

Confederacy[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 Dubious
Thomas Edwin Ross 19 July 1850 27 March 1952 Possible
Richard William Cumpston 23 May 1841 5 September 1952 Unknown
William Murphy Loudermilk[100] 23 October 1847[101] April 1851[102] 18 September 1952 Possible
William Joshua Uncle Josh Bush[103][104] 10 July 1845 July 1846 11 November 1952 Verified[105]
Arnold Murray[106] 10 June 1846 1842/1855[107] 26 November 1952 Possible[108]
William Daniel Uncle Eli Townsend[103][109] 12 April 1846 22 February 1953 Verified[110]
William Albert Kinney 10 February 1843/1846[111] 10 February 1861[112] 23 June 1953 Probable[113]
Thomas Evans Riddle 16 April 1846[114] 1862[115] 2 April 1954 Possible[116]

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. Walter 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.[117]

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.[118] 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 (1861–67)[edit]

January Uprising (1863–65)[edit]

Second Schleswig War (1864)[edit]

  • Ove Henning Jacobsen (1841–1941) – Denmark.[122]

Expedition to Abyssinia (1867–68)[edit]

Franco-Prussian War (1870–71)[edit]

Paris Commune (1871)[edit]

  • Adrien Lejeune (1847–1942) – Communards. Last Communard.[124][45]
  • Antonin Desfarges (1851–1941) – Communards. Last député.[45]
  • Eugène François Louis Liné (1850–1940) – France.[125]

Third Anglo-Ashanti War (1873–74)[edit]

Russo-Turkish War (1877–78)[edit]

Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878–80)[edit]

  • Alfred Hawker (1858–1962) – British Empire. Served in the British Army.[128]

Zulu War (1879)[edit]

  • Harry Figg (1855–1953) – British Empire.
  • Charles Wallace Warden (c.1854–1953) – British Empire. Transferred to First Foot in 1874.[129]
  • Frank Bourne (1854–1945) – British Empire. Last survivor of Rorke's Drift.

War of the Pacific (1879–84)[edit]

First Boer War (1880–81)[edit]

Anglo-Egyptian War (1882)[edit]

  • Albert Canning (1861–1960) – British Empire. Served in the 19th Hussars. Also served in the Mahdist War and World War I.[134]

Mahdist War (1882–99)[edit]

Nile Expedition (1884–85)[edit]

Northwest Rebellion (1885)[edit]

Cuban War of Independence (1895–98)[edit]

Spanish–American War (1898)[edit]

20th century[edit]

Second Boer War (1899–1902)[edit]

Philippine–American War (1899–1902)[edit]

Boxer Rebellion (1899–1901)[edit]

Potemkin Mutiny (1905)[edit]

Russo-Japanese War (1904–05)[edit]

Macedonian Struggle (1904–08)[edit]

Mexican Revolution (1910–20)[edit]

Italo-Turkish War (1911–12)[edit]

  • Michele Traini (1892–c.1996) – Italy. Sent to Libya in 1912. Returned home following WWI.[157][158]
  • Luigi Gilardi (1892–1993) – Italy. Fought at the Battle of Sciara Sciatt. Also served in WWI and WWII.[159]

Balkan Wars (1912–13)[edit]

World War I (1914–18)[edit]

Easter Rising (1916)[edit]

October Revolution (1917)[edit]

Russian Civil War (1917–22)[edit]

Russian participants:

Veterans of Allied Intervention:

  • Yasuichi Sasaki (1898–2006) – Japan. Discharged as a Corporal in 1920.[174]
  • Warren V. Hileman (1901–2005) – United States. Stationed in Vladivostok.[175][176]
  • Harold Edwin Radford (1897–2003) – Canada. Stationed in Vladivostok.[177]
  • Jean Piry (1896–2003) – France.[178][179]
  • Frank William Ivers (1902–2003) – United Kingdom. Last Naval veteran. Served in Royal Navy off Northern Russia.
  • Harold Gunnes (1899–2003) – United States. Last veteran Polar Bear Expedition. Saw action against the Bolsheviks on the USS Olympia in 1918.

Finnish Civil War (1918)[edit]

Greater Poland Uprising (1918–19)[edit]

German Revolution of 1918–19[edit]

Polish–Ukrainian War (1918–19)[edit]

Estonian War of Independence (1918–20)[edit]

Latvian War of Independence (1918–20)[edit]

Lithuanian Wars of Independence (1918–20)[edit]

Irish War of Independence (1919–21)[edit]

Polish–Soviet War (1919–21)[edit]

Silesian Uprisings (1919–21)[edit]

Polish–Lithuanian War (1919–20)[edit]

  • Česlovas Januškevičius (1900–2001) – Lithuania.[197]

Turkish War of Independence (1919–23)[edit]

Greco-Turkish War (1919–22)[edit]

  • Veysel Turan (1901–2007) – Turkey.
  • Napoleon Patricios (1899–2006) – Greece. Served on board the destroyer Ierax.[206]

Rif War (1920–1926)[edit]

Coto War (1921)[edit]

March on Rome (1922)[edit]

Irish Civil War (1922–23)[edit]

Northern Expedition (1926–28)[edit]

Cristero War (1926–29)[edit]

Nanchang Uprising (1927)[edit]

Brazilian Revolution of 1930[edit]

January 28 incident (1932)[edit]

  • Huang Shengyong (1905–2017) – Republic of China. Penultimate veteran of the 19th Route Army.[219][220]

Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  105. ^ William Joshua Bush shows up as enlisted in Company B Ramah Guards, 14th Georgia Infantry where he served from July 1861 to his discharge that October. His service with the Georgia State Militia from October 1864 to their surrender in late April 1865 was also verified by the Georgia State Pensions in 1936 (see http://cdm.sos. state ga.us 2011/cdm/compoundobject collection/Testapps/id/149449/rec/1) apart from the muster rolls the adjutant-general verified his other documents. These include his soldier's card, a pay slip and his 1861 discharge. Between them these documents bear five different signatures. Bush may have also served in the 66th Georgia between August 1863 and October 1864.
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  107. ^ "ARNOLD MURRAY Confederate Veteran living in 1950." Posted J. Block August 5th 2005. This article mentions the stated 1854/1855 census birthdate – and also the 1920 census birthdate for 1847–48. The censuses of 1910 1930 and 1940 also give 1840s birthdates. Life magazine in the May 30th issue on page 9 gives his age as 101. In The South's Last Boys in Gray Professor J S. Hoar lists twenty-two known enlisted Confederates under eleven. See pp1733-1734.
  108. ^ Find a Grave "Arnold Murray 1846–1952" has a civil War era photo of Arnold Murray as a young soldier. TennRebGirl.com 3/4/14 has him in a group photo at a 1913 Confederate reunion. In the 1930 census he affirmed both Civil War service and a birthdate in the later 1840s.
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  111. ^ In Professor Jay S. Hoar's The South's Last Boy's in Gray(page 1700) he states that Kiney lied about his age by three years so as to be old enough to enlist. The 1850 census gives his age as four and his birthplace as Bracken County Kentucky. The first names of his parents in that document match those in a 1991 letter to Professor Hoar written by Kiney's granddaughter.
  112. ^ This birthdate comes from the February 1991 article "The Great Imposters" by William Marvel and is also in the 1900 and 1920 censuses for a man who spells his name Kinney. This birthdate also appears in a March 1920 marriage record for a William A. Kiney of Indianapolis. Kiney lived in this city. These documents are discussed in the entry "William A. Kiney" in the Find A Grave Forum.
  113. ^ Kiney has three primary source records of his enlistments apart from records kept by his family. In Official Records it states that he was in 5th Regiment Kentucky Mounted Infantry. This enlistment is also mentioned in Kentucky Adjutant General's Report – Confederate Volunteers 1861–1865, Vol.1 page 254 entry 80, where Kiney's enlistment is dated on November 1st 1861. Wikipedia's entry on this unit states that they were disbanded in October 1862 and the troops were given a three way choice, discharge, reenlistment or joining the Kentucky Cavalry. Kiney went with the last option as he enlisted in Company l of Diamond's 10th Kentucky Cavalry on 18th November 1863. (This extract is from the book The 10th Kentucky Cavalry CSA by John B. Wells & Jim Pritchard. See Roster of Diamond's 10th Kentucky Cavalry CSA www.potterflats.com10thKyhtml) Professor Hoare's segment on Kiney in The South's Last Boys in Gray reproduces an excerpt of Lloyd B. Walton's article "He's a Man Even at 109" from The Indianapolis Times September 14th 1952. Here Kiney speaks of his Civil War experience, recalling that he was in most of the war and that Shiloh was his toughest fight. Find a Graveshows his tombstone with the 2nd Kentucky Cavalry inscribed as his unit. They are not known to have had a muster roll.
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  116. ^ Thomas Evans Riddle is enlisted under his full name in the reproduced muster roll in Terry D. Lowry's History of the 22nd Virginia Infantry. He is also listed as just Thomas Riddle and in the same company in John C. Wayland's Muster Roll of Confederate Soldiers. He apparently transferred regiments for in Official Recordshe appears on the muster roll of Company I 33rd Virginia Infantry. John B. Sheets of that same company kept a diary where Thomas Riddle is mentioned on February 26th 1863. Against this evidence is the fact that Lowry cautions against believing Riddle and that some of Riddle's descendants warn that due to census information, he could not have served in the Civil War. See their website "Our Family" by David Autry.
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