Today marks the true closing of a dark chapter of our collective world history. The last surviving WW1 combat veteran has passed away today in Perth, Western Australia, at the age of 110 years old.
British born, Claude Stanley Choules, joined the British Royal Navy in 1917, just one month after turning 14 years old. He served on the the training ships HMS Mercury and HMS Impregnable and the battleship HMS Revenge, and it was from this battleship in 1918, that he watched the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet. His primary duty while on board the Revenge was lowering the seaplanes into the water for action against the German Zeppelins. After the war, he joined the Australian Navy.
|HMS Revenge, 1939|
He later transferred to the Naval Dockyard Police where he served until his retirement in 1956.
Claude Choules later grew to become a pacifist and refused to participate in anything that glorified war. He married Ethel Wildgoose in Australia in 1926 and they lived together for 76 years, until she passed away in 2003 at the age of 98. Claude Choules wrote in his autobiography that it was love at first sight.
For the complete story about Claude Choules, follow this link over to BBC News:
The Last WW1 Combat Veteran