First World War in the News is an edited review of hand-picked World War I (1914-1918) articles - covering everything from the soldiers and generals to the trenches and militaria.

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Battlefields, Tours, Reenactment
·· Battlefield Tours
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Last living WWI veterans
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Military History & Battles
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Airforce & Aviation
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Naval forces, Wrecks
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Wartime & Trenches
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The Central Powers
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United Kingdom, Commonwealth
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Secret or Forgotten groups
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From Soldiers to Generals
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·· Lawrence Of Arabia
·· Alvin York
·· RIP: Remains of Soldiers
The Great War -era
·· Home Front
·· Women and War
·· Health: Medics & Nurses
·· Spanish Flu 1918
·· Battlefield Casualties
Misc WWI History
·· 1914 Christmas truce
·· Origins & Causes of WWI
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·· Case Armenia
·· Strange
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·· Gallipoli: Anzac Day
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World War II

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Latest hand-picked First World War news. See also: See also 'Battlefield Tours', 'Memorabilia, Collectibles', 'WWI-era Letters', 'Victoria Cross Medal'.

Poland promoted a 112-year-old Józef Kowalski, who saw action in 1919–1921 Polish-Soviet War, to an army captain
It's probably the longest-awaited promotion in military history. Recently, 112-year-old Józef Kowalski, a lieutenant in the Polish army, was promoted to captain. Kowalski was born on February 2, 1900 in southern Poland (then part of the Austrian empire). He served in the 22nd Uhlan Regiment of the Polish Army during the 1919–1921 Polish-Soviet War. He did return to the front in 1939, but spent most of WWII as a German PoW. He was awarded the Officer`s Cross of the Order of Reborn Poland for his 100th birthday.
(southcarolina1670)

Florence Green, the last surviving WWI veteran, dies just days before her 111th birthday
The world's last surviving First World War veteran has passed away. Florence Green, who joined the war effort in September 1918, when she was aged 17, passed away just two weeks before her 111th birthday. The great-grandmother, who lived through all but 400 days of the 20th century, signed up to the Women's Royal Air Force two months before the end of the Great War. She was the last surviving person to have seen active service after the death of British-born sailor Claude Choules in Australia last year. Green worked at Narborough Airfield and RAF Marham, Norfolk, as an Officer's Mess steward.
(dailymail.co.uk)

The last First World War veteran Claude Choules passes away at 110
Claude Choules, Australia's oldest man and the world's last surviving male WWI veteran, has passed away in Perth aged 110. The former naval explosives expert, who was also the last living person to have fought in both world wars, served in Britain's Royal Navy in WWI and witnessed the surrender of the German Imperial Navy in 1918 while serving aboard HMS Revenge. Choules wrote an autobiography - "The Last of the Last" - which was released in 2009 and made him the world's oldest first-time published author at the age of 108.
(perthnow.com.au)

Frank Buckles, the last American World War I veteran, passes away at 110
Frank Buckles, who drove an Army ambulance in France in 1918, has passed away at the age of 110. He was only a corporal and he never got closer than 30 miles to the Western Front trenches, but Buckles nonetheless became a national treasure as the last living link to the two million men who served in the American Expeditionary Forces in France.

"What I have a vivid memory of is the French soldiers - being in a small village and going in to a local wine shop in the evening. They had very, very little money. But they were having wine and singing the Marseillaise with enthusiasm. And I inquired, 'What is the occasion?' They were going back to the front. Can you imagine that?"

For his service Buckles received the World War I Victory Medal, the Army of Occupation of Germany Medal, and qualified for four Overseas Service Bars. In addition, he was granted France's Légion d'honneur in 1999.

Two First World War veterans - Claude Choules and Florence Green, both British - are still alive.
(nytimes.com)

Frank Buckles, the last living American WWI veteran, soon turns 110
The family of Frank Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of the First World War, hopes he makes it to his 110th birthday on February 1st, 2011. In spite of his age, Buckles had been campaigning to get federal status to an existing WW1 monument in Washington - which currently only honors those who served from the District of Columbia. At the time of writing this, only three WWI veterans are still alive.
(cnn.com)

John Babcock - the last Canadian World War I veteran - passes away at 109
John Babcock enlisted at the age of 15 after lying about his age. He trained in Canada and England but the Great War ended before he reached the trenches. In February 1916, at 15, Babcock signed up and the medical examiner put down his "apparent age" as 18, which meant he was allowed to train. In spite of being under the legal age to fight, which was 19, he continued his attempts to get to the front line. He lied about his age again, and sailed to Britain where underage boys formed the Young Soldiers' Battalion to train until they were eligible to fight. "I wanted to go to France because I was just a tin soldier."
(bbc.co.uk)

Mrs Florence Green emerges as Britain's oldest First World War veteran
Florence Green served with the Women's RAF (WRAF) in 1918 and although she did not see front-line action, the charity Veteran's Aid said she qualifies as a veteran of the war. Green was a waitress in the officers' mess during the war at RAF Marham and Narborough Airfield. Her story was discovered after Andrew Holmes, a British correspondent for the US-based Gerontology Research Group, traced her name using the National Archive. He was stunned to locate a service record for Florence Beatrice Patterson, Green's maiden name. He examined the records further and found that Florence had joined the WRAF in Sept. 1918. Green had been unaware of her status until recently.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Harry Patch, the last British survivor of the First World War trenches, passed away
Harry Patch was enrolled into service compulsorily at the age of 18 and saw combat in the Battle of Passchendaele at Ypres in 1917 as a machine-gunner. The Prince of Wales told: "Harry was involved in numerous bouts of heavy fighting on the front line but amazingly remained unscathed for a while. Tragically one night in Sept 1917 when in the morass in the Ypres Salient a German shrapnel shell burst overhead badly wounding Harry and killing 3 of his closest friends. In spite of the comparatively short time that he served with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, Harry always cherished the extraordinary camaraderie..."
(bbc.co.uk)

Henry Allingham was the last survivor of the Battle of Juland and the Royal Naval Air Service
Air mechanic Henry Allingham was the world's oldest man and the last survivor of both the Battle of Juland and the Royal Naval Air Service. He was haunted by a nightmare memory of falling into a WW1 trench on the Western Front, when he was looking for a downed aircraft. "We were moving forward at night... It was dark... There were booby traps everywhere. I fell into a shell hole. It was full of arms, legs, ears, dead rats – a lot of dead, rotten flesh... I turned to my left, and that's what saved me. It got shallower to the left, and I was able to lift myself out of the water. I lay there in the dark, not daring to move, cold and with my uniform stinking. I was frightened."
(telegraph.co.uk)

Last First World War Digger Jack Ross passes away
With the death of Jack Ross, none remain of the 416,809 Australians who signed up for the First World War - a national baptism of blood and pointless slaughter that continues to hold Australia in emotional grip. Ross never saw action because his mother pleaded with the authorities for him to remain in Australia rather than join his brother (who got spinal injuries) on the western front battlefields. Shortly after, Ross was moved to the Light Horse Brigade in Sydney, where he decoded German morse-code messages sent from Nuremberg. During the Second World War Ross again enlisted and again remained in Australia, as a member of the volunteer defence corps.
(theaustralian.news.com.au)

One of the last First World War veterans, Netherwood Hughes, passes away
Netherwood Hughes, one of three last surviving World War I veterans, has passed away at the age of 108. "We don't want a military funeral, because he had always felt uncomfortable being called a veteran as he did not see any conflict," explained his niece Ann Hutton. Ned was sent to Great Yarmouth for basic training in 1918, but by the time this was finished, the war was almost at an end. Before the call-up he had been working as a driver. He was one of the youngest drivers of a heavy goods vehicle, but this brought him notoriety in 1917: He was one of the first people to be ticketed for breaking the 15mph speed limit.
(lancashiretelegraph.co.uk)

Australia's last surviving WWI veteran Jack Ross turns 110
A cake with just one candle and plenty of chocolates have been set up for the birthday of Australia's oldest man, Jack Ross. He joins a select group of the world's super centenarians as Australia's oldest man and the nation's only living First World War veteran. He enlisted to help the war effort in Feb. 1918 but the war ended 9 months later, before he saw action. His daughter Peggy Ashburn said: "He has written a lot of memoirs... he has done a family tree, and a family history. He actually did the family tree before computers were there. He did it the hard way, visiting cemeteries and typing everything out."
(smh.com.au)

Bill Stone, last British forces veteran of world wars, dies aged 108
Bill Stone was one of three last surviving World War I veterans in Britain, having joined the Royal Navy at 18 and followed his 3 older brothers by serving as a Stoker. As well as taking part in a round-the-world "Empire Cruise" visiting the Colonies onboard HMS Hood, he participated in the evacuation of Dunkirk, saw the 1943 Sicily landings, experienced first-hand the horrors of the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic and cut the hair of General Franco's brother on rescuing him from a crashed plane. Of the 5 million people who served with British forces in the Great War, the death of Bill Stone means that only 3 remain: Henry Allingham, Harry Patch and Claude Choules.
(telegraph.co.uk)

I'm the forgotten survivor of First World War, claims Ned Hughes
A man of 108 has step up to claim he is Britain's 4th living World War I soldier. The last known 3 survivors in Britain (Bill Stone, Harry Patch, Henry Allingham) met in London on Armistice Day. But Ned Hughes claims he is a fourth "forgotten" soldier, and he recalls serving in the 51st battalion of the Manchester Regiment as an infantry soldier. The World War One Veterans' Association recognises him as the "fourth man" - but Ministry of Defence records which could have proved this have been destroyed. An MoD spokesman said there was no grounds to believe Hughes was not a WWI veteran but no records proving it had been discovered.
(mailonsunday.co.uk)

British WWI Veteran Sydney Lucas passes away days before 90th anniversary
One of the last British World War I soldiers has passed away, less than a week before he would have marked the 90th anniversary of the Armistice. Sydney Lucas, who joined the Sherwood Foresters regiment 3 months before the end of the conflict in 1918, 108, passed away in Rosebud in Australia, where he lived most of his life, like WWI veteran Claude Choules. The 3 last veterans still living in Britain (Henry Allingham, Harry Patch and Bill Stone) are expected to lead a two minute silence at the Cenotaph on London on Nov 11 - 90 years after the moment in which the Armistice between Germany and the allies was signed ending 4 years of slaughter.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Italy's last World War I veteran Delfino Borroni passes away aged 110   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Delfino Borroni, the last surviving Italian veteran of the First World War, has passed away in a rest home aged 110. Born August 23, 1898 in Turago Bordone, a small village in Italy, Borroni saw action on the Italian-Austrian front as a soldier in the light infantry Bersaglieri corps. His passing comes after the deaths of two other Italian World War One veterans, Francesco Domenico Chiarello and Lazarre Ponticelli.
(theaustralian.news.com.au)

Henry Allingham releases book "Kitchener's Last Volunteer"   (Article no longer available from the original source)
One of the First World War's last living veterans released a new book tracing the arc of his 112-year life. Henry Allingham joked with reporters as he signed copies of "Kitchener's Last Volunteer" at an event at the Royal Air Force Club in London. The book, a reference to British War Secretary Lord Kitchener, recorded Allingham's sign-up in 1915 and his career in Britain's embryonic air force, flying aircraft he described as little better than "motorized kites." The book follows Allingham through the Battle of Jutland and the Western Front, where he was injured when his aircraft depot was bombed.
(iht.com)

Frank Woodruff Buckles - Last living WWI vet from Missouri [long article]
After Harry Richard Landis died Frank Buckles was left to present the living legacy of the millions who made up the American military might in the Great War. As late as 1997, the U.S. had about 6,800 WWI vets. After failed attempts to join the U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy, Buckles was able to outlast the scrutiny of the U.S. Army recruiting office in Oklahoma City and enlisted Aug. 14, 1917. An old sergeant told that the quickest way to the action was in the Army Ambulance Service, so he signed up and was sent to Fort Riley for training in Ambulance Service and Trench Retrieval. His 102-man unit (the First Fort Riley Casual Detachment) set sail from Hoboken in Dec. 1917.
(leatherneck.com)

Italian WWI veteran Francesco Domenico Chiarello dead at 109
One of the last veterans of the First World War, Italian Francesco Domenico Chiarello, has died aged 109. He died in the Calabria region of southern Italy where he was born on November 5, 1898. He joined the Italian army in 1918 as a member of the 19th infantry regiment from Cosenza. He was posted to the northern front at Trento where he took part in the final battle of Vittorio Veneto. The Italian military in 1968 named a medal after that battle - The medal was given to all those who fought for at least 6 months in WW1. Italy now has only one living veteran of the Great War, Delfino Borroni, 109.
(abc.net.au)

WWI veteran Franz Künstler, who fought in the Austro-Hungarian army, dies
Romanian-born Franz Künstler, who served in the Austro-Hungarian army and fought on Germany's side on the Italian front, has died aged 107. He was drafted into the 1st Artillery Regiment of Austro-Hungarian army in February 1918. His passing follows the death of Erich Kästner (Jan. 2008), thought to have been the last German WWI veteran to have fought for the German Imperial army. Künstler's death was more widely covered in German media than Kästner's. Künstler still had plans for the future, in March he told: "When I'm 110 the devil can come and get me."
(spiegel)

Turkey's last First World War veteran Yakup Satar dies
Yakup Satar, one of the last two veterans of the Turkish War of Independence, has died. He battled on the Basra front in the Ottoman army during World War I, and defended Turkey from foreign invasion at the Great Battle of Sakarya. Satar is survived by almost 50 grandchildren. In his final years his home was frequent stop for Turkish leaders wishing to pay their respects to the war veteran. He also hosted student groups, sharing his view on how to maintain the nation's integrity. Military records show that the last living veteran of the War of Independence is Col. Mustafa ªekip Birgöl.
(todayszaman)

Last 9 First World War Veterans standing - List of living WW1 veterans
Henry Allingham of Britain (111). The only survivor who served from the beginning. Yakup Satar of Turkey (109). Signed up in 1915 for the Ottoman Army, worked with the Germans on gas weapons, captured in 1917 in what is now Iraq. Harry Patch of Britain (109). Delfino Borroni of Italy (109). Joined an elite unit in 1917. Francesco Chiarello, of Italy (109). Called up in 1918, saw action in final battles. Frank Buckles, US (107). John Babcock, Canada (107). Franz Kuenstler, Germany (107). Joined a Hungarian artillery unit in Feb. 1918. Only survivor of the Austro-Hungarian forces. Claude Choules, Britain (106). Joined the Royal Navy in 1916, served in the North Sea.
(theaustralian)

France's final WWI veteran Lazare Ponticelli dies - The last poilu
France's last surviving veteran of the First World War, Lazare Ponticelli, has died aged 110. Ponticelli, originally Italian, had lied about his age to join the French Foreign Legion in August 1914, aged 16. He initially refused an offer of a state funeral, but he later decided to accept "in the name of all those who died, men and women", during WWI. "Poilu" is the name given since Napoleonic times to French foot soldiers. There are only a handful of WWI veterans alive today, like British Henry Allingham and Austro-Hungarian artillery man Franz Kunstler.
(bbc)

Last WWI veteran Frank Buckles honored by White House, Pentagon
He fought the Kaiser with the U.S. Army during the First World War. Today Frank Buckles, the last known U.S. military veteran to serve during WWI, was honored with a White House visit and was made the guest of honor at a ceremony at the Pentagon where portraits (by David DeJonge) of Buckles and 8 other WWI veterans were unveiled. Defense Secretary Robert Gates noted that the Great War is not very well understood by Americans today. Decades have passed since Hollywood has paid much attention to the war that cost more American lives that Vietnam, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan added together.
(baltimoresun)

Long interview with Jack Babcock, Last surviving veteran of Canada's WW1 army
Funeral arrangements can be a touchy issue when 107yo interview subject isn't ready to go. When you ask Jack Babcock if he would like a state funeral, he fixes you with sky-blue eyes. You're obviously talking foolish. But the question has to be asked. Babcock is the last survivor of the 619,636 men who enlisted in Canada's First World War army. "I don't know why the hell they would want to do that because I didn't fight," he told in May 2007 after Canada's second-last vet Dwight Wilson died. Now he begins to waver: "I wouldn't mind that. I think all of them should be included."
(canada)

Harry Landis - One of last 2 WWI vets in US - dies at 108
Harry Richard Landis, who enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1918 and was one of only 2 known surviving U.S. veterans of World War I, has died. The remaining American WW1 veteran is Frank Buckles, 107. The last known German WWI veteran Erich Kaestner died New Year's Day at 107. The last time all known U.S. veterans of a war died was Sept. 10, 1992, when Spanish-American War veteran Nathan E. Cook passed away. Landis trained as a U.S. Army recruit for 60 days, and never went overseas. "I don't remember too much about it. We went to school in the afternoon and drilled in the morning. We got our uniforms a bit at a time. Got the whole uniform just before the war end."
(wordpress.com)

American World War I veteran Frank Woodruff Buckles turns 107
Frank Buckles met with a few friends at the Bavarian Inn to celebrate his 107th birthday. He is one of only two WWI veterans still living in the U.S., and on Aug 14, the 90th anniversary of his enlistment, he got the Distinguished West Virginian Award for his military service and lifetime of perseverance. He served two years overseas as an ambulance driver and escort. After Armistice Day, he was tasked to a POW escort company. But the war to end all wars would not be his last experience in a world-wide conflict. In 1940 his job took him to Manila, where he was caught by the Japanese. He fought starvation for 3 years in prison camps until he was liberated on Feb. 23, 1945.
(journal-news)

Last German WWI Veteran, Erich Kästner, believed to have died
In Britain and other countries, the death of a World War I veteran makes headlines. Not in Germany. The man considered to have been the last surviving soldier of the Imperial German Army died on Jan. 1, aged 107. No official verification was available, since Germany keeps no records on its veterans from the two world wars. Dr. Erich Kästner, born on March 10, 1900, died on Jan 1, 2008 (based on an announcement by his family). He joined up in July 1918, 4 months before the end of the war, and served on the Western Front. Only one other WWI veteran is thought to be living in Germany: Franz Künstler, who served in the Austro-Hungarian empire's army.
(spiegel.de)

France's oldest World War I veteran Louis de Cazenave passes away
Louis de Cazenave, who fought in the Battle of the Somme in 1916, has passed away at 110, leaving Lazare Ponticelli as the last "poilu", French WWI veteran. The second-last of the poilus (hairy ones: the name given since Napoleonic times to footsoldiers) joined up in 1916. In April 1917 he fought, with the Fifth Senegalese Rifles, in one of the most fatal French WW1 operations, at the Chemin des Dames, during the Second Battle of the Aisne. The Germans took chemin in 1914, and after 2 years of attrition warfare, the French commander-in-chief General Robert Nivelle, urged an attack against the well-dug Germans. The attack led to French mutinies, and left Cazenave a pacifist.
(bbc)

William Olin, 103, is a WWI veteran - Unless he is not a WWI veteran?
William Olin says he signed up for the Great War when he was 14 - It wouldn't have been unusual. With a parent's signature or a man's body, boys went off to fight. "I was big... and I didn't answer no questions. I wanted to fight for the country." He went to France, collected the bodies and got shot. Or did he? William Olin is an old man with no proof: no pics, no documents. And until 10-15 years ago, he never talked about being in World War I. No one is sure he's not mixed up. "To be honest, I can't find any proof that he served," told great niece Sherry Pierce. Olin's tales are blurred by shaky memories and a fire that destroyed millions of military records.
(forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl)

J. Russell Coffey was among last remaining veterans of the Great War
J. Russell Coffey, one of 3 last U.S. veterans of the First World War, died at 109. He was a student at Ohio State University when the U.S. joined the war in 1917. He was 20 years old when he enlisted in the Army the next year and served one month before the end of WW1. While he tried to enlist earlier, the U.S. military was hesitant to admit him because his two older brothers were fighting in Europe. Coffey was somewhat uneasy to be honored as a surviving veteran because he never saw combat. "He really felt that it wasn't appropriate. He had been willing to fight. But by the time he got there, it was over with," James Miller said.
(toledoblade)

Last Polish WWI veteran Stanislaw Wycech remembers soldiering
He struggles to sit straight, but 105-year-old Stanislaw Wycech is as sharp as a tack as he recounts his role in Poland's fight for independence. "I wanted to walk tall in the front rank," he told, as he toyed with the medals pinned to his jacket. With a twinkle in his eye, he said: "In those days I could do it without a walking frame!" Wycech is the only surviving Pole. WWI evokes images of the trench-lined Western front, where fighting ended on Nov. 11, 1918. For Poland the date marks independence, but not the end of bloodshed: in 1918-1920 Poles battled for territory with Germans, fought Ukrainians and Lithuanians and stemmed an invasion by Bolshevik Russia.
(afp)

Italian World War I veteran Justin Tuveri dead at 109
Justin Tuveri, who fought for Italy during WW1 and was one of the few remaining European veterans of the Great War, has died at 109. Tuveri remained active despite his age, driving until age 98. Although he became a French citizen in 1940, he did not figure on the French Defense Ministry's list of surviving vets from the 1914-1918 war because he had fought for Italy. Tuveri was a member of the Sassari Brigade, a Sardinian infantry unit nicknamed the "Dimonios" ("Demons"). The brigade fought Austro-Hungarian and German forces in the heights of Italy. Tuveri's military service was cut short when he was shot twice in the back after 4 months.
(abcnews.com)

William Alfred Seegers - German veteran of World War I dies
William Alfred Seegers, recently verified as one of only two surviving German veterans of World War 1, died in Richmond at 106. Seegers, who served in the German army from July 1918 to April 1919, came to the US in 1923. He was added to the list of known living WW1 veterans in May, when his status was verified by Robert Young, a senior researcher for the Gerontology Research Group. According to Young, there are only 24 veterans of the Great War alive worldwide.
(contracostatimes)

Frank Buckles - Among Last of World War I Vets
Frank Buckles is 106 and not as spry as he used to be. But try to help him from a chair to his feet, and he will bellow a loud "No." 90 years after the self-willed teenager lied his way into a uniform, then the European theater of WWI, the older version of that boy remains independent, determined to live life on his terms, at his pace. That means to learn about Buckles, you'll need to sit a spell to hear stories of a lifetime that hardly seems possible today, to hear stories of a war that few are still able to tell. His living room is full of mementos and photos, including one of Jacques Chirac presenting Buckles a Legion of Honor medal in 1999.
(washingtonpost)

"I guess I'm the last." A pause. Then he adds "Am I?" turning to his wife
Someone reminds John Foster Babcock that he is Canada's last WW1 veteran. "I guess I'm the last," he says. A pause. Then he adds "Am I?" turning to his wife. She nods. "It takes a while for it to sink in," she explains. His memory is like a radio signal that comes in and out. "The Zeppelins came over, and they raised hell. There were those explosive bullets, and when those bullets hit the skin of the Zeppelin, they would explode and tear a big hole." He recalls that men would return from the front: "They would go to the wet canteens and they would talk about the fighting... They would drink 9 imperial pints of beer in one evening," he says shaking his head in disbelief.
(theglobeandmail)

Death of Dwight Wilson leaves one Canadian WW1 Veteran
Dwight Wilson's determination to join his countrymen in the trenches of the First World War drove him to enlist not once, but twice, despite news reports chronicling the "horrendous" conflict being waged. Wilson, who was diverted from the frontlines because he was a minor, died at 106. "I think maybe in 1914, when the war broke out, some of the young boys signing up thought it would be a lark. By 1916, there had been thousands upon thousands of them just killed. They had some horrendous battles." It was in that climate that a 15-yo Wilson, who had served as a bugler in the 9th Mississauga Horse militia, headed overseas in the fall of 1916.
(latimes.com)

Philip Mayne: The last surviving World War I British officer has died   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The world`s oldest columnist and the last surviving British officer from World War One has died. His war service was rarely mentioned because it was brief and he never saw any action. However, in recent years it has attracted some mainstream media in the UK -- including this piece last year in The Times - because he was the only British survivor who held the rank of officer. This happened thanks to a cadetship into the Royal Engineers which meant he was fast-tracked to second lieutenant - the lowest officer rank - in Sept 1918 at the age of just 18. The war ended 6 weeks later.
(crikey)

WW1 veteran Russell Coffey recalls fallen comrades, mourns loss
It was "the war to end all wars." Russell Coffey believed that when he enlisted in Oct 1918. But now he knows better, to his sorrow: "It was the war that started it all. We haven't learned very much." American soldiers have fought in 5 major wars since then, all of them tracing their roots to World War I. is still mourning the loss of the young men who died in WWI — 116,516 American soldiers and millions of Europeans - France alone lost one in three of its young men between the ages of 13-30. Until a year ago Coffey could crack jokes like this all day, tell stories for hours. "It's a shame all the reporters didn't come then."
(daytondailynews)

Oldest WWI-era vet J. Russell Coffey joined weeks before war's end
Reporters tend to hound 108-year-old J. Russell Coffey, not because of his accomplishments, but for the two months he spent in the Army in 1918. He's had more interview requests than usual lately because the 90 th anniversary of the US entry into the First World War is April 6. He gets letters sometimes asking for his autograph, and the nurses put a pen in his hand and help him sign. "I volunteered, because I would've been drafted if I hadn't." His daughter, Mary Larsen said that as far as she knows, he spent the two months training, but he never talked much about it.
(columbusdispatch)

Charlotte Winters, 109, a Navy Enlistee in World War I, Dies
Charlotte Winters, the last surviving woman to have served in the American armed forces in WW1 and one of the first to enlist in the Navy, died at 109. She held the rank of Yeoman (F) from March 1917 to July 1919, and served her entire enlistment as a clerk at the Naval Gun Factory at the Washington Navy Yard. "She`s not No. 1 on the rolls, but she was among the first women to enlist," Jennifer Marland, of the US Navy Museum, said. Winters was among 600 women who were on duty by the end of April 1917. By Dec 1918, there were 11,000 women in the Navy. The woman sailors found the term "yeomanettes" demeaning, far preferring to be called Yeoman (F)s.
(nytimes)

Lloyd Brown, last U.S. Navy veteran of WWI, dies at 105   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Lloyd Brown, the last remaining U.S. Navy veteran of World War I, died early Thursday at 105. The last remaining U.S. Navy veteran of WWI served on the battleship USS New Hampshire, which patrolled the North Atlantic for German submarines. For 2005 article about Lloyd Brown see: Lloyd Brown: Saluting a Living Symbol of World War I
(usatoday)

National World War I Museum planning WWI vets ceremony
The news that no national ceremonies are planned once the last of 3 World War 1 veterans has died prompted the National World War I Museum to make plans for a national tribute. The former Marine general Steve Berkheiser who heads the museum in Kansas City, Mo., offered to host a tribute to all who served 90 years ago. Several readers expressed dismay in comments and phone calls that no national memorial was planned. The deaths left 3 known surviving American veterans of WWI: Frank Buckles, 106; Russell Coffey, 108; and Harry Landis, 107. All served in the Army.
(usatoday)

One of the last WWI vet recalls Great War
When the guns fell silent on Nov. 11, 1918, 4,734,991 Americans had served in WW1. 4 are known to be alive. "I am one of the last," says Frank Woodruff Buckles, who at 106 is among the few living links to the Great War. "I didn't know it would be down to one to a million." The days of trench warfare and biplane dogfights are long gone, but the first industrialized war set the stage for all that came after: It marked the emergence of the US as a superpower. When America got into the war in 1917, he went looking for adventure. Such romantic spirit soon was ground up in the "no man's land" between the bloody trenches on Western Front.
(usatoday)

World War veteran Wilfred Baker dies at 106
A world war veteran thought to have been Scotland's second-oldest man has died at 106. Wilfred Baker joined the Royal Navy at the age of 18 and fought in both World War I and World War II. He stayed on with the navy before retiring as a lieutenant commander in 1948.
(bbc)

World War I Veteran Jean Grelaud Dies at 108
A veteran of World War I has died in France at the age of 108, leaving only two French survivors of the war. Jean Grelaud died Feb. 25 in Paris and was buried in private, according to the wishes of his family. Born Oct. 26, 1898, Grelaud was mobilized in 1917, serving in the 31st and the 131st infantry regiment. He fought in the Aisne region during the second Battle of the Marne, and was captured and interned in Belgium before being freed Nov. 21, 1918. He had received France's highest award the Legion of Honor.
(abclocal)

Oregon's last WWI veteran Howard V. Ramsey dies at 108
Howard V. Ramsey, Oregon's last living WW1 veteran who was an Army corporal in France, died at age 108. He was a truck driver who ferried officers, carried water to troops on the front lines and returned the soldiers killed in battle. By some accounts he was the nation's oldest combat veteran. According to Wikipedia, one of his fondest memories was when a little French girl asked him for a souvenir one day. He told the girl he didn't have anything to give her, but ended up handing over a penny. In return, she gave him a gift wrapped in tissue, which ended up being a lock of her curly hair. He kept that lock of hair until his death.
(katu)

One of Canada's last WW1 veterans, Victor Clemett, dies
One of Canada's last 3 surviving veterans from World War I, Victor (Lloyd) Clemett, has died at 107. He enlisted in the army in 1916, a month after turning 16, following in the footsteps of 3 older brothers who had left for the battlefields. Remarkably, all 4 would return home, though one suffered shrapnel injuries to the head. Clemett was sent to England, where a colonel transferred him to the forestry brigade upon learning his age. When the brigade was deployed to France a year later, Clemett volunteered to go to the front lines several times and was headed there when armistice was declared on Nov. 11, 1918.
(cbc)

Antonio Pierro - Oldest World War 1 veteran in Massachusetts dies
Antonio Pierro, an Italian immigrant who was thought to be the last World War 1 veteran in Massachusetts and among a handful in the U.S., has died at 110. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1917. He served for 18 months and saw action as an artilleryman. He maintained a regimented schedule of three meals at the same time each day. Jim Benson of the Department of Veterans' Affairs, said Pierro's death leaves only 7 WW1 veterans on its rolls nationwide. He said there may be 3-4 additional veterans not on the rolls, adding it is difficult to know with any certainty.
(boston.com)

Robert Meier - the last person to have met Kaiser Wilhelm II
Robert Meier was a combat veteran of WWI and one of Germany's last veterans of that war. He was a rarity in being a survivor of the infantry, having seen combat in France on the Western front. Meier may also have been the last person to have met Kaiser Wilhelm II. Robert Meier had a great sense of humour; in 2006, he let the press take his picture while he was wearing a WW1 spiked helmet and a t-shirt with the slogan "109 - na und?" ("109 - so what?") on it.
(wikipedia)

Germany's Robert Meier dies at 109 - fought in both world wars   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Robert Meier, the oldest man in Germany and one of the last remaining veterans of the First World War has died at the age of 109. Born in Ukraine in 1897 to German parents, Meyer fought in both world wars. He attributed his longevity to eating oatflakes, chicken soup and having the occasional beer. "Too much of what is good for you is not always healthy."
(france24)

WW1 vet Albert Wagner dies at 107 - In the Marines 1918-1919   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Albert F. "Jud" Wagner, who served with the Marines in World War I, has died at the age of 107. He was honored in Nov 2006 at a Veterans Day ceremony at the Statehouse. At that time, he was the only known WWI veteran living in Kansas and the oldest former Marine in the nation. He enlisted at age 17 and served in the Marines in 1918 and 1919. The war stories were "the reason I became a Marine. They take care of one another. They're a proud outfit," said his son J.S. Wagner.
(kansas)

French WWI war veteran Rene Riffaud passes away at the age 108
One of France's last World War I veterans, Rene Riffaud, has died at age 108, leaving just 3 known French survivors of the 1914-1918 conflict, the National Veterans Office said. In Nov 2006 interview Riffaud, who joined a colonial artillery unit in April 1917, played down his war role: "I did like everyone else, I went with the flow. I was mobilized like all other citizens. The war was a massacre. There was a lot of destruction, lots of spite and lots of heartbreak for everyone. It must not happen again." Of the 3 surviving WWI veterans, the oldest, Louis de Cazenave, is 109.
(washingtonpost.com)

The last British serviceman to serve in both WWI and WWII died
Captain Kenneth Cummins served in the Royal Navy in WWI and the Merchant Navy in WWII. Until his death he was one of five WWI vets living in the UK. Dennis Goodwin, said: "Any death of a veteran of WWI means the end of a unique and special generation." In 1918 he witnessed nurses' bodies floating in the ocean after a Canadian hospital ship was illegally destroyed by the Germans. The four WWI veterans who survive him are: William Stone; Henry Allingham; Philip Mayne; and Harry Patch.
(bbc)

Moses Hardy, last known black World War I veteran, dies at 113
Moses Hardy, believed to be the second-oldest man in the world and the last black U.S. veteran of World War I, has died at age 113. Hardy was sent to France and saw some combat. Robert Young said research had been unable to locate any other living black WW1 veterans. The oldest man is 115-year-old Emiliano Mercado del Toro of Puerto Rico. He is also a veteran, but he had been in military training when WWI ended and was never sent overseas.
(boston.com)

Russell A. Buchanan, one of the last World War I veterans, died
Russell A. Buchanan, one of the America's last First World War veterans, has died. He was 106. He served in the Navy in the final months of World War I and then enlisted in the Army to serve in World War II when he was in his 40s. He remained physically active in his old age by regularly walking at a shopping mall well past his 100th birthday. "Stand up for the U.S.A. and give all you can, even if it hurts," he said at a Veterans Day ceremony in 2001.
(usatoday)

Oldest American World War I veteran Ernest Pusey dies at 111
Ernest Pusey was old enough to remember the horse and buggy, the thrill of chasing German U-boats and the din of General Motor's first auto plant. But even at age 111, he was still young enough to keep a cheerleader's autographed picture on his wall. Believed to be the world's third-oldest man, he was one of the world's 800 documented supercentenarians, those older than 110, and took part in a study on the mysteries of aging. Pusey joined the Navy in 1917, and worked as a fireman aboard the USS Wyoming. Earlier this year he was given a long overdue gift - the World War I Victory Medal.
(gainesville)

France's oldest WWI vet Maurice Floquet dies
France's oldest World War 1 vet, Maurice Floquet, has died at the age of 111, the national association of veterans has said. Mr Floquet fought in Belgium and France and was seriously wounded twice, losing his hearing in one ear. In 2005, he received a Legion of Honour medal. There are now only 4 surviving French veterans of the 1914-18 war.
(bbc)

The final word from the Great War heroes - Last Post
Historian Max Arthur interviewed the last 21 servicemen to have experienced the horrors of the First World War for his book, Last Post. Today, only four are still alive. George Rice could remember the day distinctly. He was 17 and was at the Territorial Army training camp near Llandudno, in Wales. Life at the camp was a bit like a holiday. One day, during a break, he set off with some other lads to climb a hill to get a good view of his surroundings. That's when he heard the sound of a bugle. "I wondered what was going on and when we returned to camp we were told that the war had started."
(thisisthenortheast)

Britain's and Germany's oldest Great War vets embrace as friends
Britain's oldest WW1 vet Henry Allingham and Robert Meier, Germany's equivalent, braved driving rain to attend one of the most moving of all memorial services. With a combined age of 219, these men know the meaning of remembrance. Allingham, making his first trip to Germany since he served in the army of occupation after the Great War, was in Meier's home town Witten, for the meeting ahead of Armistice anniversary. Allingham, 110, wearing his war medals, said: "I'm very happy to be here and remember how good the German people were to me when I was last here in 1919." Meier, 109, dressed in a flamboyant black beret, added: "It's wonderful to be together."
(guardian)

Albert Anderegg, 105, was a veteran of World War I
Albert Anderegg, a veteran of World War I, died at age 105. Anderegg, who served as a private while taking part in an R.O.T.C.-like program when he attended the University, served three months, from Oct. 12 to Dec. 11, 1918. He was discharged when the Army abandoned the program. Anderegg recalled training before and after class as a member of the Students Army Training Corps. Anderegg was full of optimism: He bought a new car after turning 105.
(startribune)

Britain's last living female veteran of the Great War   (Article no longer available from the original source)
107 years young, she still loves to dance - Woman in B.C. rest home could be Britain's last living female veteran of the Great War. A photograph beside her bed shows her in the brimmed hat and tidy uniform of the Women's Royal Air Force. With so many British men being lost in the trenches, the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps was formed in 1917. Young Miss Stokes joined as soon as she could. She later transferred to the Women's Royal Air Force. "Our duty was to look after the men who were training to be pilots." Earlier this year, a woman named Alice Baker died at 107; she was described as the last living female veteran of the WW1.
(theglobeandmail)

Evan Allan - Last WW1 navy veteran dies
Evan Allan, who has died in Melbourne at the age of 106, was the last Australian veteran to serve through the whole of the first and second world wars, after defying his parents by volunteering for the fledgling Royal Australian Navy (Ran) in March 1914. As soon as he was big enough to pass muster, the 14-year-old ran away to sea. he was posted as a seaman-rating to the cruiser HMAS Encounter, and was thus present when his ship fired the Australian fleet's first shot in anger, as Commonwealth forces attacked the German half of the huge island of New Guinea, north-east of Australia.
(guardian)

Alfred Anderson: Scotland's longest surviving World War I veteran
Alfred Anderson, who served with the 5th Battalion the Black Watch, was born in 1896. He was in one of the first British contingents to serve on the Western Front. Anderson was thought to have been the longest surviving veteran of the 1914 Christmas truce when British and German troops shook hands in no-man's-land. Prince Charles, who knew the veteran, said: "I was very deeply saddened to hear that Alfred Anderson had died. As many ... know, he had a legendary reputation within the Black Watch and had a special connection with my grandmother's family through his service with her older brother Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon at the Battle of Loos in 1915."
(bbc)


See also

'Battlefield Tours'

'Memorabilia, Collectibles'

'WWI-era Letters'

'Victoria Cross Medal'.