Friday, February 26, 2010

Canada’s Last World War One Vet Passes Away

Since there are so few living veterans of the First World War left, whenever one passes away I think it’s worth noting here. Last Friday Canada lost their last WWI vet when John Babcock, age 109, died.

Babcock lied about his age to join the Canadian military in 1915. Because of his youth he was assigned to a unit with other underage soldiers and remained in Canada for much of the war. By 1918 though he had been shipped off to England and his unit was preparing to be deployed to France when the armistice was signed on November 11th. Even though he never saw combat, by his later years Babcock became a living symbol for the 600,000 Canadians who fought, and 60,000 who died in WWI. But like other centenarian vets, Babcock was unsentimental about his service in what was then called “The Great War”.

With Babcock’s passing there are believed to be only three surviving veterans from World War One, including America’s “last doughboy” Cpl. Frank Buckles, age 108.
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