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Last WWI Combat Veteran Claude Choules Dies Aged 110 (5 May 2011) 

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Old 05-05-2011, 05:43 AM
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Last WWI Combat Veteran Claude Choules Dies Aged 110 (5 May 2011)

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The world's last known combat veteran of World War I, Claude Choules, has died in Australia aged 110.

Known to his comrades as Chuckles, British-born Mr Choules joined the Royal Navy at 15 and went on to serve on HMS Revenge.

He moved to Australia in the 1920s and served in the military until 1956.

Mr Choules, who had been married to his wife Ethel for 76 years, was reported to have died in his sleep at a nursing home in his adopted city of Perth.

He is survived by three children and 11 grandchildren. His wife died three years ago.

Mr Choules' 84-year-old daughter, Daphne Edinger, told the Associated Press news agency: "We all loved him. It's going to be sad to think of him not being here any longer, but that's the way things go."

Demolition officer

Born in Pershore, Worcestershire, in March 1901, Mr Choules tried to enlist in the Army at the outbreak of WWI to join his elder brothers who were fighting, but was told he was too young.

He lied about his age to become a Royal Navy rating, joining the battleship HMS Revenge on which he saw action in the North Sea aged 17.

He witnessed the surrender of the German fleet in the Firth of Forth in November 1918, then the scuttling of the fleet at Scapa Flow.

Mr Choules remembered WWI as a "tough" life, marked by occasional moments of extreme danger.

After the war he served as a peacekeeper in the Black Sea and in 1926 was posted as an instructor to Flinders Naval Depot, near Melbourne. It was on the passenger liner to Australia that he met his future wife.

He transferred to the Royal Australian Navy and after a brief spell in the reserves rejoined as a Chief Petty Officer in 1932.

During World War II he was chief demolition officer for the western half of Australia. It would have been his responsibility to blow up the key strategic harbour of Fremantle, near Perth, if Japan had invaded.

Mr Choules joined the Naval Dockyard Police after finishing his service.

But despite his military record, Mr Choules became a pacifist. He was known to have disagreed with the celebration of Australia's most important war memorial holiday, Anzac Day, and refused to march in the annual commemoration parades.

He took a creative writing course at the age of 80 and recorded his memoirs for his family. They formed the basis of the autobiography, The Last of the Last, which was published in 2009.

The last three WWI veterans living in Britain - Bill Stone, Henry Allingham and Harry Patch - all died in 2009.

Another Briton, Florence Green - who turned 110 in February and was a waitress in the Women's Royal Air Force - is now thought to be the world's last known surviving service member of WWI. An American veteran, Frank Buckles, died earlier this year.

Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13289607

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Old 05-05-2011, 10:10 AM
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Last First World War Veteran Dies

The last known combat veteran of the First World War has died at the age of 110, his family has said.

British-born Claude Stanley Choules, who was known as "Chuckles" by his comrades, joined the Royal Navy aged just 14 and witnessed the scuttling of the German fleet at Scapa Flow in 1919.

He emigrated to Australia in the 1920s and served in the military for 41 years before retiring and publishing his first book at the age of 108.

Mr Choules's family said he passed away on Thursday at a nursing home in the western Australian city of Perth. Following his death, his daughter Daphne Edinger, 84, said: "We all loved him. It's going to be sad to think of him not being here any longer, but that's the way things go."

The father of three was born in Pershore, Worcestershire, on March 3, 1901, six weeks after the death of Queen Victoria, and was one of seven children.

He signed up for naval training in 1915, just one month after his 14th birthday, and at 16 joined the battleship HMS Revenge - part of the British Grand Fleet based at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands. While serving on Revenge he witnessed the surrender of the German fleet at the Firth of Forth, on Scotland's east coast, on November 21, 1918.

Mr Choules, who claimed the secret to a long life was simply to "keep breathing", was also present at Scapa Flow on June 21, 1919 when the Germans scuttled all their warships so they would not fall into British hands.

He remained with the Royal Navy after the war and in 1926 was posted as an instructor to Flinders Naval Depot, near Melbourne, Australia. While on board the passenger liner that took him to Australia, he met his future wife Ethel. They were married on December 3, 1926 and later settled in Western Australia. His wife died in 2003 at the age of 98 after they had been married for 76 years, and he spent his final years in a nursing home.

Mr Choules decided to transfer permanently to the Royal Australian Navy and during the Second World War he was appointed chief demolition officer for the western half of Australia. He later transferred to the Naval Dockyard Police and remained in the Australian navy until his retirement at the age of 55, before going on to publish his autobiography, The Last of the Last, in 2009.

Mr Choules and another Briton, Florence Green, became the war's last known surviving service members after the death of American Frank Buckles in February, according to the Order of the First World War, a US-based group that tracks veterans. Ms Green, who turned 110 in February, served as a waitress in the Women's Royal Air Force.

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Old 05-05-2011, 12:42 PM
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Re: Last WWI Combat Veteran Claude Choules Dies Aged 110 (5 May 2011)

R.I.P

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Old 05-05-2011, 04:37 PM
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Re: Last WWI Combat Veteran Claude Choules Dies Aged 110 (5 May 2011)

amazing how they are all gone, and a few decades from now the last ww2 soldier will die, amazing how these wars to future generations will be something like the civil, or revolutionary wars of past, just relics and no people to give direct descriptions, thank god we have so many stories documented on paper an film,

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Old 05-06-2011, 08:15 PM
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Re: Last WWI Combat Veteran Claude Choules Dies Aged 110 (5 May 2011)

Simply amazing post. Thank you:)

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Old 05-06-2011, 08:57 PM
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Re: Last WWI Combat Veteran Claude Choules Dies Aged 110 (5 May 2011)

thank you for your service!!

Rest in Peace!!

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Old 05-07-2011, 05:43 AM
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Re: Last WWI Combat Veteran Claude Choules Dies Aged 110 (5 May 2011)

Great Post! R.I.P

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Old 05-07-2011, 09:46 AM
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Re: Last WWI Combat Veteran Claude Choules Dies Aged 110 (5 May 2011)

Good post R.I.P old timer

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Old 05-08-2011, 11:55 AM
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Re: Last WWI Combat Veteran Claude Choules Dies Aged 110 (5 May 2011)

Looks like he aged pretty good.

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Old 05-09-2011, 06:25 AM
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Re: Last WWI Combat Veteran Claude Choules Dies Aged 110 (5 May 2011)

My grandmother died in her 30's, and grandfather back in '88 when I was 2 days old (esophageal cancer, he promised he'd be around to meet me *tear*). I'm not expecting to live very long. 110 seems unimaginable to me! I'm drunk so I dont really comprehend what county he's from, Australia, England, somethin or other, IDK but he served his country well and that is respectable. R.I.P. soldier.

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