Where are the World War I Vets ???

Discussion in 'Remembering' started by rainvet, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. Guarango

    Guarango New Member

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    Hi Knewhart
    Allingham´s doctor recomended that he quit riding his bicycle to the pub and to keep away from women when he reached 105. He says he is still alive thanks to good malt whisky and 4 packets of ciggarettes a day and a good fist fight at the pub once in a while. May God grant him many more years in this world. That shows the kind of metal vets are made of.
    knewheart likes this.
  2. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    WWI veteran turns 107
    Frank Buckles celebrates birthday with friends Saturday

    Frank Buckles savors a glass of wine as he dines with friends while celebrating his 107th birthday. Buckles is one of only two veterans of World War I still living in the U.S. (Journal photo by Ron Agnir)
    SHEPHERDSTOWN — Frank Woodruff Buckles met with a few close friends at the Bavarian Inn on Saturday to celebrate his 107th birthday, which occurred on Friday.

    Buckles is one of only two World War I veterans still living in the U.S., and on Aug 14, the 90th anniversary of his enlistment with the Army, was presented with the Distinguished West Virginian Award by Gov. Joe Manchin for his military service and lifetime of perseverance.

    Buckles said that one of the reasons he enlisted for the war even though he was not old enough at 16 was that “Everyone was conscious of the fact that the world was involved.”

    He served two years overseas, in England and France, working as an ambulance driver and escort. After Armistice Day, he was assigned to a prisoner-of-war escort company.

    But unfortunately for Buckles, the so-called war to end all wars would not be his last experience in a world-wide conflict. In 1940, he accepted a job with a shipping company which took him to Manila, where he was captured by the Japanese when they invaded the Philippines. He fought starvation for more than three years in prison camps until he was liberated on Feb. 23, 1945.

    Manchin said at the award ceremony in August that Buckles is an excellent example of “why our motto is ‘West Virginians are always free.’ You represent us well.”

    On Saturday, Buckles said that some of his most memorable birthdays were celebrated at sea when he was aboard ships in the 1930s.

    “Not only the passengers, but the crew participated,” he said.

    For 20 years, Buckles has been celebrating his birthday with his friend and doctor, C.V. Townsend, and his wife, Sarah, who shares the same birthday as Buckles.

    C.V. Townsend said that one of the most amazing things about Buckles is his nearly indelible memory. “His memory is probably better than anyone I know and he just turned 107 yesterday,” Townsend said.

    “I can remember back when I was in the cradle and they would put the cradle down in the breakfast room and I would hear cheerful voices,” Buckles said.

    Buckles said that another one of his priceless memories is from meeting General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, the supreme commander of U.S. Forces in WWI, when he was visiting Oklahoma City in 1920.

    “I’m probably the only person left in the world today who met General Pershing,” Buckles said.

    Writing letters occupies a good deal of Buckles’ time.

    “I receive a great many letters regarding World War I and that period and they have to be answered,” he said.

    In a previous interview with The Journal, Buckles said genetics, healthy eating and exercise are vital for a long life, but one thing ranks higher.

    “The will to survive is what’s most important,” he said.

    Another friend joining Buckles for his party, Martha McIntosh, said that she has always appreciated Buckles’ kindness toward her.

    “Frank was the first one to come calling to introduce me to the Historical Society,” she said.

    Buckles lives at Gap View Farm near Charles Town.
  3. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    British Veteran of World War I, Dies at 113

    Henry Allingham, British Veteran of World War I, Dies at 113

    LONDON — Henry Allingham, one of Britain’s last three surviving veterans of World War I, died on Saturday at a nursing home in the south coast town of Brighton, staff at the home said. Age 113, he was officially recognized as Britain’s oldest man.

    An iconic figure to many in Britain, Mr. Allingham did wartime service including stints on land, in the air and at sea. In 1915, he flew as an observer and gunner in the Royal Naval Air Service, hunting zeppelins over the North Sea. He was aboard one of the Royal Navy ships that fought in the Battle of Jutland in 1916, in which Britain lost 14 ships and 6,000 seamen.

    He transferred to the western front in France the following year, where he was a mechanic transferred by the naval air service to the Royal Flying Corps, again flying as an observer and a gunner in sorties over the battlefields of the Somme. In later life, he recalled his time in the Somme trenches as the most searing of all his wartime memories.

    He described standing in water up to his armpits, surrounded by the smell of mud and rotting flesh. “I saw too many things I would like to forget, but I will never forget them, I can never forget them,” he said.

    As Britain’s World War I veterans have dwindled, the survivors have become celebrities, appearing at remembrance day ceremonies in London’s Whitehall each year. Mr. Allingham was there in a wheelchair last year. Nearly a million soldiers, sailors, airmen and merchant seamen from Britain and its colonies died in World War I, about double the number who died in World War II.

    Snowy-haired and bowed with age, Mr. Allingham carried a wreath of poppies on his lap at the remembrance ceremonies last November. Insisting he lay the wreath himself, he was wheeled forward to the plinth of the Cenotaph, the memorial to Britain’s war dead near Britain’s Defense Ministry, and was assisted by a military aide in placing the wreath.

    In March, at one of his last public appearances, he went to the French Embassy in London, where he was made an officer of the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest honor, an award made on the personal initiative of President Nicolas Sarkozy of France.

    Mr. Allingham’s death leaves only two British World War I veterans still living: Henry Patch, who is 111, and Claude Choules, 108.

    But as he grew older, he relented, at least as far as agreeing to appear and speak in public. Even then, he continued to resist all efforts to depict him as a hero. On a visit to the Somme in 2006, he was asked how he wanted to be remembered. “I don’t,” he said. “I want to be forgotten. Remember the others.”

    His wife, Dorothy, died in 1970. He is survived by five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild, according to news agencies.

    His death was marked by a flurry of eulogies. Queen Elizabeth II said in a statement that Mr. Allingham was “one of the generation who sacrificed so much for us all.” Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he had met Mr. Allingham a number of times. “He was a tremendous character, the last in a generation of tremendous characters,” Mr. Brown said.
  4. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    World remembers sacrifice of WWI lost generation

    World remembers sacrifice of WWI lost generation
    By Rory Mulholland (AFP) – 3 hours ago

    PARIS — French and German leaders stood side by side in Paris to honour the fallen of World War I on Wednesday, as countries around the globe held ceremonies to remember the millions who died in the conflict.

    President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel rekindled the flame on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe and vowed that never again would their nations wage war on each other.

    "We are not commemorating the victory of one people over another but an ordeal that was equally terrible for each side," Sarkozy declared before a military honour guard and crowds of well-wishers.

    Far from being "The War to End All Wars", the 1914-18 conflict merely set the tone for the 20th century's litany of brutality, although in terms of sheer mass killing on the battlefield it has since rarely been equalled.

    Much of the fighting -- which pitted Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey against France, Britain, Russia, Italy and, from 1917, the United States -- was in northern France and characterised by horrific trench warfare.

    German leaders have attended World War I memorial events in France before, most notably when chancellor Helmut Kohl took president Francois Mitterrand's hand in Verdun, the scene of one of the fiercest battles of the war.

    But Merkel's visit Wednesday was the first time a German leader had attended the Armistice Day ceremony in Paris marking the defeat of Germany and was seen as a signal of ever closer ties between the two neighbours.

    "We cannot wipe out the past but there is a force which can help us to bear it: The power of reconciliation," Merkel said in a speech which, like Sarkozy's, emphasised the two countries' central role in the European Union.

    The two leaders observed a moment of silence -- at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month -- to mark the moment 91 years ago when the guns stopped firing across Europe after Germany signed an Armistice Treaty.

    In Britain too, people fell silent to remember those who fought and gave their lives in the so-called Great War.

    Queen Elizabeth II led commemorations at a service at Westminster Abbey in central London which was also attended by Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Related article: Britain remembers the lost generation.

    Brown has faced severe criticism this week over the ongoing war in Afghanistan, where a new generation of British service personnel are making the ultimate sacrifice.

    In Camp Bastion, the main British base in Helmand province in Afghanistan, a gun salute marked the start of a two-minute silence and people stood still to pay their respects, the BBC reported.

    In the United States, where November 11 is a national holiday called Veterans Day, President Barack Obama was due to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

    Solemn services took place across Australia to remember those killed in action in the war the country joined as part of the British Empire.

    This year has seen the deaths of the last three British veterans of World War I in Britain.

    Of the eight million British soldiers who fought in the conflict, only 108-year-old Royal Navy veteran Claude Choules, who lives in Perth, Australia, remains alive.

    The last French veteran, an Italian immigrant who lied about his age to join the Foreign Legion and fight in the trenches, died last year aged 110.

    He was one of more than eight million men who fought under French colours in the war.
  5. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    Last Surviving World War I Veterans

    List of last surviving World War I veterans by country
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    Country ↓ Name ↓ Death ↓ Age ↓
    Algeria Saci Ben Hocine Mahdi[1] 1998[citation needed] 100 years
    Australia John Campbell Ross[2] 3 June 2009 110 years
    Austria August Bischof[3] 4 March 2006 107 years
    Barbados George Blackman[4] March[5] 2003 105 years
    Belgium Cyrillus-Camillus Barbary[6] 16 September 2004 105 years
    Canada John Babcock[7] Living 109 years
    Czechoslovakia Alois Vocásek[8] 9 August 2003 107 years
    France Pierre Picault[9] 20 November 2008 109 years
    Germany Erich Kästner[10][11] 1 January 2008 107 years
    Guyana Gershom Browne[12] 6 December 2000 102 years
    Hungary Franz Künstler[13] 27 May 2008 107 years
    Ireland Thomas Shaw[14] 2 March 2002 102 years
    Italy Delfino Borroni[15] 26 October 2008 110 years
    Jamaica Stanley Stair[16] April 2008 106 years
    Netherlands Bert van Sloten[17] September[18] 2005 105 years
    Newfoundland Wallace Pike[19] 11 April 1999 99 years
    New Zealand Bright Williams[20][21] 13 February 2003 105 years
    Philippines Eracleo Alimpolo[22][23] 2 October 2002 104 years
    Poland Stanisław Wycech[24] 12 January 2008 105 years
    Portugal José Ladeira[25] 5 May 2003 107 years
    Puerto Rico Emiliano Mercado del Toro[26][27] 24 January 2007 115 years
    Romania Gheorghe Pănculescu[28] 9 January 2007 104 years
    Senegal Abdoulaye N'Diaye[1] 10 November 1998 104 years
    Serbia Aleksa Radovanović[29] 22 June 2004 105 years
    Slovenia Ivan Kovacic[30] 13 February 2001[31] 103 years
    South Africa Norman Kark[citation needed] March 2000[32] 102 years
    Thailand Yod Sangrungruang[33] 9 October 2003 106 years
    Turkey Yakup Satar[34] 2 April 2008 110 years
    Ukraine Mikhail Krichevsky[35] 26 December 2008 111 years
    United Kingdom Claude Choules[36] Living 108 years
    United States Frank Buckles[37] Living 108 year
  6. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    Frank Buckles: The Last of the Last
    Frank Woodruff Buckles, 108, stands alone in history now. He is the world's last known survivor of World War I.

    With the death at the end of July of Britain's Harry Patch, 111, and burial last week, the last combat veteran in Europe who saw action in the War to End all Wars, Buckles became a man who belongs to history and the ages.

    I interviewed Buckles on his historic farm in Charles Town, W.Va., a little over one year ago. To be before him was to confront history. He is living memory of a time long swept away. And now, it is down to him alone, which is a remarkable thought when it is remembered that the U.S. sent two million to France to fight in The Great War in 1917.

    Although Buckles, unlike Patch, was not in combat, he was on the periphery, which in World War I was just as dangerous. He drove an ambulance, bringing wounded back from the front. He was a motorcycle courier, taking messages or officers to various duty stations in France. Later, still, he escorted German prisoners back to Germany.

    There was little he didn't see. World War I consumed soldiers in great numbers. Trench warfare was a deadly business. France lost 1.3 million; Germany, 1.6 million and Russia, 1.7 million. Those three countries alone had more than 18 million casualties. The U.S. suffered more than 58,000 killed and over 262,000 casualties in just two years of combat.

    I have visited many of the World War I battlegrounds in France. The cemeteries glisten with white tombstones that seem to range for mile upon mile. The cemeteries are sobering.

    Buckles deserves this nation's highest honor, simply for having survived and lived so long. He was also held prisoner for three years by the Japanese during World War II. It is a testimony to his determination to live through so much adversity that is admirable and in its own way honorable. He is a dignified man with a splendid mind, who at the time of our interview could rattle off dates and places as if they were yesterday, instead of a yesteryear gone to the abyss of history.

    The United States entered World War I in April 1917. Buckles was just 16 years old when he enlisted in the Army on Aug. 1, 1917. He was sent to Fort Riley, Kan., to train with the 1st Fort Riley Casual Detachment. Woodrow Wilson was the 61-year-old American President who had been in the White House for four years when the first soldiers marched "over there," to help end The Great War. He has lived to see 16 U.S. presidents since enter the White House.

    Harry Patch, buried Aug. 6, was a machine gunner on the Western Front, surviving the battles of Ypres where 900,000 of his British countrymen, as well as those from British colonies, perished in the trench warfare that has defined that war.

    Harry Patch was 111 years old, and the last of the Europeans to have seen combat in World War I. Some very few World War I-era vets are still alive--those who never left the U.S., and others who were in training to go to war, but never left before the end of the fighting.

    But Frank Buckles is America's last Doughboy. In 1999, he received the French Legion of Honor from then French President Jacques Chirac. My belief is that he deserves either the Distinguished Service Medal or the Presidential Medal of Freedom, both the nation's highest honors for a distinguished service career, and to a civilian who has made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

    It is only fitting that we as a nation honor our last Doughboy with his nation's highest award

    "When your nation calls," he told me, "you have to go."

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