Thursday, February 18, 2010
Canada has lost its last living veteran of the 'War to End All Wars', World War I. John Babcock Joined the army as an underage 16 year-old, and the war ended before he could go to the front lines. Shortly after the war, he moved to the United States, eventually joining the U.S. Army and advancing to the rank of sergeant.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the following statements on Babcock's passing:
"John Babcock was Canada's last living link to the Great War, which in so many ways marked our coming of age as a nation. Today they are all gone. Canada mourns the passing of the generation that asserted our independence on the world stage and established our international reputation as an unwavering champion of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law."
Babcock was one of a handful of veterans of the Great War still living.
Frank Buckles, 109 - the last American 'Doughboy', who is crusading for a National Memorial in Washington, D.C., dedicated to the First World War (currently, the City of Washington has a poorly-maintained monument to their citizens who served in the conflict).
Claude Choules, 108 - British sailor, who moved to Australia in 1926.
Florence Green, 109 - Last known female veteran of WWI. Served as a waitress in the RAF.
Harry Patch, the last combat veteran, passed away in July.
These living testaments to a bygone era will not be here for long. History is about to lose the last first-hand eyewitnesses of one of the world's saddest chapters.