Thursday, March 3, 2011

World War I The end of an era

via AP

There has been a rash of WWI veteran news lately.

Two weeks ago, Florence Green, the sole surviving female WWI veteran turned 110. She enlisted in the Womans Royal Air Force in the summer of 1918, serving a variety of jobs in the military from mechanic to clerk to waitress. She lives with her 89 year old daughter in Norfolk.

Last week, the sole surviving American veteran, Frank Buckles died, a month after his 110th birthday. Entering the Army, at 16 after lying about his age, in April 1917. After the war he entered the shipping industry working for White Star Lines. In 1941, while in the Philippines on business, he was captured by the Japanese, and served 3 years as a POW.

Today marks the 110th birthday of the last WWI combatant, Claude Choales. Living in Australia since 1926, Claude joined the Royal Navy after lying about his age to enlist. Happy Birthday Mr. Choales.

The last Axis veteran is believed to have been Franz Kuenstler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire who died in 2008.

God bless them all.



Martha said...

My Dad was a WW I Vet (I was a doughboy's daughter when everyone else in school was a GI's kid!) -- and if you haven't been to the NATIONAL WW I Memorial in KC you need to do so. It is an awesome facility! It's worthy of a trip to that alone -- and it is, after all, only about 3 hours from Mayberry.

Anonymous said...

Imagine being the last living combatant of a conflict such as this. In Canada we lost the last remaining WWI veteran just last year, at a similar age.

James said...

Interesting that they lied about their ages. Can you imagine in trying that these days? One electronic zap and you'd be found out. I agree with you God bless them.

Suburban Princess said...

It's amazing that they live so long.
I heard there was another one in the UK? Or did my local news get it wrong again?

Barbara said...

Amen to that.
A lot of WWII vets lied about their age too.....

Toad said...

Each had his own reasons for lying about his age, but in the 19teens kids were out of school and worked hard, either on the farm or in town. A chance for adventure may have seemed like fun.

Martha you are right. The WWI memorial is a special place, although I haven't been there in too many years.

Patsy said...

I remember the WWI vets handing out paper poppies on Armistice Day - they seemed ancient then and that was almost 40 years ago.

Kerry said...

My great-grandmother was a Sergeant in the Royal Air Force. I knew her well and she said it was a glorified secretary job. I do, however, own bit of her brother's wooden RAF plane that landed behind enemy lines. He used the prop and tail wing to make picture frames carved in her (my great-grandmother's) honor. The planes were made of wood and canvas, can you imagine ?

North of 25A said...

Yes. My own Dad was graduated from a military high school & shipped off during WWII at age 17. Unbelievable to me. My 8th grade daughter has been studying the Civil War for weeks and I have found myself thinking about all of those young men too... I'd like to think that if we remember "them" it is a kind of prayer.