I don’t know why I feel compelled to report the deaths of “last war veterans”; perhaps it’s because I feel that my own generation is moving into the front lines. At any rate, the Washington Post reports that Claude Choules, the “only remaining veteran of World War I and one of the last people to have served in both world wars,” died today in Australia at the age of 110.
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 U.S.-based group that tracks veterans.
Mr. Choules was the last known surviving combatant of the war. Green, who turned 110 in February, served as a waitress in the Women’s Royal Air Force.
“Everything comes to those who wait and wait,” Mr. Choules told an interviewer in 2009. . . .
Despite the fame his military service brought him, Mr. Choules later in life became a pacifist who was uncomfortable with anything that glorified war. He disagreed with the celebration of Anzac Day, Australia’s most important war memorial holiday, and refused to march in parades held each year to mark the holiday.
“I had a pretty poor start,” he told a reporter in 2009. “But I had a good finish.”