18 May 2007

World War I veterans

They're disappearing quickly.

According to Wikipedia, 23 WWI veterans (and two WWI-era veterans*) have died so far this year. Amongst them were:
Philip Mayne, the last surviving British officer (died 9 Apr)
Gheorghe Pănculescu, the last known Romanian veteran (9 Jan)
Lloyd Brown, the last surviving US Navy veteran (29 Mar)
Emiliano Mercado del Toro, who at the time of his death was the oldest living person in the world (24 Jan)
Howard Ramsey, the last US combat veteran (22 Feb)
Albert Wagner, the last USMC veteran (20 Jan)
Charlotte Winters, the last female US veteran (27 Mar)

How many are left? According to Wikipedia there are 28 WWI veterans and seven WWI-era veterans still living (plus four men with unverified claims). Amongst them:
John Campbell Ross, last Australian veteran (aged 108)
Gladys Powers, the last remaining female veteran (108)
Henry Allingham, the oldest man in Britain (110)
Henry Patch, last surviving British Army veteran (108)

* Wikipedia defines a "WWI-era veteran" as "those that joined the armed services after the Armistice date, or where there is debate on their join-date, or whose military service is sometimes viewed as outside the scope of "WWI" but are considered WWI-era vets by the press or the US government, or served in a related conflict."

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