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OneWorld22
3rd Mar 2006, 14:53
Just 80...

According to Wikipedia...

1 Living in Australia - 4 veterans
2 Living in Austria - 1 veteran
3 Living in Brazil - 1 veteran
4 Living in Canada - 2 veterans
5 Living in France - 9 veterans
6 Living in Germany - 14 veterans
7 Living in Hungary - 1 veteran
8 Living in Italy - 12 veterans
9 Living in Poland - 3 veterans
10 Living in Russia - 1 veteran
11 Living in the United Kingdom - 10 veterans
12 Living in the USA - 22 veterans
13 World Totals - 80 veterans

Details on the British Vets

ACTIVE SERVICE:


Henry Allingham, 109, lives Eastbourne, East Sussex. Mechanic, Royal Naval Air Service, serviced and recovered planes on the Western Front 1917-1918. Served at Jutland, and the Somme and Ypres salients. Britain's oldest man. Became car designer for Ford

Harry Patch, 107, lives Wells, Somerset. Private, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, Western Front 1917. Last veteran of Passchendaele. Became plumber

Kenneth Cummings, 105, lives Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire. Midshipman, cruiser HMS Morea, escorting convoys in East Africa. Became captain for P&O

Andrew Rigby, 105. Lancashire Fusiliers, joined in 1914, served for six months then demobbed for being underage

NOT ACTIVE SERVICE

Alice Baker, 107, lives Suffolk. Royal Flying Corps, repairing aircraft

Philip Mayne, 106, lives Richmond, North Yorkshire. Royal Engineers, trained and commissioned. Studied at Cambridge and became an engineer

John Newman, 105, lives Dorchester, Dorset. Westminster Rifles

Harry Newcombe, 105, lives Worthing, Sussex. Sussex Regiment, enlisted on 18th birthday, served with the army of occupation in Germany. Became attendant on Great Western Railways

Bill Stone, 105, lives Watlington, Oxfordshire. Mechanic, Royal Navy, trained as ship's stoker. Became tobacconist

Bill Roberts, 105, lives Jacksdale, Derbyshire. Corporal, Royal Flying Corps, tested and repaired aircraft at Farnborough. Became engineer for bus company.


The reason I post this is I was remembering the great BBC programme "The LAst Tommy" and espeically the dignity of Harry Patch who spke from the heart so eloquently.

107 years old is Somerset born Harry now and he even had a cider named after him!

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40654000/jpg/_40654871_harrypatchlabel300.jpg


I read before that the UK will grant a state funeral to the last WWI Tommy who dies, is that correct? Seems a very appropriate response.

Jerricho
3rd Mar 2006, 15:14
Little Johnny's teacher decides that for Rememberance Day the students are to find out if any of their relatives fought in the Great War and are to present their findings to the class.

The members of the class take turns in recounting stories about their grandfathers and grandmothers who gave their all for their country, and some their lives. Little Johnny gets to go last.

"Well everyone, I found out my Grandfather was in World War One. He was in one of them trenches somewhere in Europe."
The teacher smiles "That's interesting Johnny. Do you know anymore about him?"

"Oh yeah!" replies Johnny. "This one time he was in his trench and all his other men from his brigade were dead or badly wounded. He had a revolver and a bottle of whisky with him. Coming up on the trench were 100 Turkish soldiers. Me Grandad's last order was to defend the trench"

The class were now glued to Johnny's every word. "Well, what happened next?"

"Well, me Grandad threw down his gun and drank the bottle of whisky and went about defending the trench".

The teacher suddenly looked very sad "Oh Johnny, that's a very brave story. Did they ever find his body?"

Johnny smiled. "Oh yeah, he's still alive! He defended the trench and beat off the Turks"

Teacher look at Johnny with a look of awe and said "Well, I don't know what to say Johnny."

Johnny replied "I do. You don't f*ck with me Grandad when he's drunk!"




Rest in peace Grandad.

Mr Lexx
3rd Mar 2006, 15:20
I read before that the UK will grant a state funeral to the last WWI Tommy who dies, is that correct? Seems a very appropriate response.

Agreed, that would be very fitting indeed http://forums.bradbarnett.net/style_emoticons/default/uk.gif

Mr Lexx
7th Mar 2006, 12:19
ACTIVE SERVICE:
Henry Allingham, 109, lives Eastbourne, East Sussex. Mechanic, Royal Naval Air Service, serviced and recovered planes on the Western Front 1917-1918. Served at Jutland, and the Somme and Ypres salients. Britain's oldest man. Became car designer for Ford
Harry Patch, 107, lives Wells, Somerset. Private, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, Western Front 1917. Last veteran of Passchendaele. Became plumber
Kenneth Cummings, 105, lives Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire. Midshipman, cruiser HMS Morea, escorting convoys in East Africa. Became captain for P&O
Andrew Rigby, 105. Lancashire Fusiliers, joined in 1914, served for six months then demobbed for being underage
NOT ACTIVE SERVICE
Alice Baker, 107, lives Suffolk. Royal Flying Corps, repairing aircraft
Philip Mayne, 106, lives Richmond, North Yorkshire. Royal Engineers, trained and commissioned. Studied at Cambridge and became an engineer
John Newman, 105, lives Dorchester, Dorset. Westminster Rifles
Harry Newcombe, 105, lives Worthing, Sussex. Sussex Regiment, enlisted on 18th birthday, served with the army of occupation in Germany. Became attendant on Great Western Railways
Bill Stone, 105, lives Watlington, Oxfordshire. Mechanic, Royal Navy, trained as ship's stoker. Became tobacconist
Bill Roberts, 105, lives Jacksdale, Derbyshire. Corporal, Royal Flying Corps, tested and repaired aircraft at Farnborough. Became engineer for bus company.


Unfortunately, the total is now less as Alice Baker passed away last monday.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/norfolk/4781342.stm

click
7th Mar 2006, 12:35
Wasn't it just recently that the last participant of the Christmas soccer game died?
Makes you appreciate what freedom is and how hard it is to maintain. (living behind the former iron curtain doubles the appreciation and I kiss the ground I walk on in Canada)

ORAC
7th Mar 2006, 12:36
I wonder how many others in the UK will be discovered and, as is mooted below, how embarrassing will it be if he/she is identified after the funeral?.....

Independent: Unknown French veteran of 1914 war emerges from mists of time

A living unknown soldier has emerged from the mists of time and claimed his place among the "last patrol" of surviving French veterans of the 1914-18 war. René Riffaud, 107, was so horrified by his experiences of the trenches that he refused to sign up as an official "veteran" in the 1920s. Now, at the urging of his family he wants to "re-enlist" and join the half dozen other French official survivors.

His request - likely to be approved this week - has more than just personal or sentimental importance. President Jacques Chirac has pledged that the last survivor will be given a full state funeral. With only six other veterans still alive in France - one of whom was also recently "rediscovered" - M. Riffaud's re-enlistment will give him a lottery ticket for everlasting fame as the "last poilu". (Poilu, or "hairy man", is the French nickname for Great War veterans and equivalent to the British Tommy.).....

The other rediscovered veteran is François Jaffré, 104. He served as a sailor on anti-submarine ships in Atlantic troop convoys. He signed up as a veteran but was lost to officialdom and declared dead after a change of address. He has been found living in a nursing home in Yvelines, near Paris. Five other survivors are known of the more than seven million French soldiers, sailors and airmen who fought in 1914-18. The oldest, identified only as "Maurice", is 111 and was twice injured and badly disfigured.

The cases of M. Riffaud and M. Jaffre raise an awkward question, however. Are other centenarians out there who, like M. Riffaud, chose not to recall the war or who, like M. Jaffre, were "lost" by a ministry? Could France bury its last poilu with state honours only to find he was not the last after all?

TheOddOne
7th Mar 2006, 12:37
Gosh!

It doesn't seem like 5 minutes ago since we saw WW1 veterans marching at the Cenotaph every November.

My father was an Instructor in the Machine Gun Corps in WW1 (and caught and survived Spanish Flu - this saved his life as he was delayed being sent to France and it was all over before he got better). He didn't start a family until after WW2 and he died, aged 95, 10 days before the birth of my youngest, now aged 11.

I feel a strong sense of linking in to that generation through my father and I encourage this in my children, too. The older 2 do remember their grandfather well, so history lessons at school are much more about their own experiences than for many children, I'm sure.

I believe that the key message we have for them and for the generations to come is that War is ultimately a horrible, futile, utterly wasteful process. The Armistice commemorations each November are supposed to be a stark reminder about the shocking, terrible crime against humanity that WW1 became and that we should bend all our efforts to avoid doing it all again.

This is why I think that the 2-minute silence should be kept specially for this occasion, not used for every opportunity to note some other disaster or unfortunate happening.

The Odd One

Conan the Librarian
7th Mar 2006, 12:48
80 eh? Now 79...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/norfolk/4781342.stm

Conan

Bahn-Jeaux
7th Mar 2006, 13:00
I recall going to see my ex wifes grandmother who lived in Norfolk.
It must have been about 13 years ago now as my daughter was 3 at the time and we have a pic of her sat on her knee.
She was 97 at that time and lived alone in her home and still climbed the steepest stairs I have ever seen to get to her 2 rooms upstairs.
Fiercely independent she was.
I sat enthralled as she related her times in the great war and what she saw.
She had been a nurse and told how she travelled in a Rolls Royce ambulance.
Wish she was still alive and I had paid that little bit more attention.
Sadly she died at the age of 101 before I had chance to speak to her again.
I would like to think the last survivor would be given a good send off here but by the time the PC brigade have finished and T. Bleurgh has hijacked the proceedings, I imagine the end result would be something truly cringeworthy and inappropriate.

Evening Star
7th Mar 2006, 13:41
I read before that the UK will grant a state funeral to the last WWI Tommy who dies, is that correct? Seems a very appropriate response.

Most certainly the French are planning this. Would not surprise me if the thought has not occurred to anybody in the UK until now.

djk
7th Mar 2006, 13:56
80 eh? Now 79...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/norfolk/4781342.stm
Conan

With the two newly found in France, shouldn't that make it 81?

PPRuNe Radar
7th Mar 2006, 14:02
Subject of a long and divided discussion on Military Aircrew

The Last Tommy (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=197326&highlight=veteran)

beamer
7th Mar 2006, 15:35
A full State Funeral for the last 'Tommy' who saw active service in The Great War would be a fitting tribute to the lost generation should his descendents agree with the concept. My only reservation would be the probable hi-jacking of the event by Blair and Brown as they seek to ingratiate themselves once again.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning..............................we WILL remember them.

airship
7th Mar 2006, 20:00
I often wonder whether old soldiers wouldn't be far happier knowing that the world is in a better state as they are leaving it than when they first came into it. Now that would be a fitting tribute...but not so easily organised as your average "state do" though. :sad:

TooFiddy
7th Mar 2006, 20:38
I thought the last Australian survivor of WWI died in very recent times.

Seems a little off to dangle the promise of a state funeral to the one who can "hang in there the longest" like it's some kind of contest.

They all deserve it.

slim_slag
7th Mar 2006, 22:08
One has met a few of this Breed and they are humble to a man, no doubt they would consider a big funeral to be a bit of a fuss. The other problem is that it would become a day out for the members of the very Establishment who are sending the current youth to their deaths for the same reason as the first world war youth were sent to their deaths. That is for no good reason at all.

So if a State Funeral is held, fill the front 99 rows with servicemen who have fought or who are still fighting. The politicians, together with the rest of the Great and the Good, should be squashed in the back row where they belong.

As I don't deserve to be there I think I will have to go down the pub and order a pint and give him a big 'cheers'.

OneWorld22
8th Mar 2006, 11:55
Agreed ss, politicians should be releagted to the very back if there at all.

This should be a "peoples" tribute form the ordinary Joes of the country. Veterans of WWII and other conflicts should make up the front of the Church. Politicians would be well advised to keep back that day.....

tall and tasty
8th Mar 2006, 12:40
I wonder how many of these distinguished gentlemen/Woman have written down their experiences in the trenches. I as a child lived next door to a gentleman who told stories of the wars, he was a very young lad in the Boer and he had the incredible stories to tell of that and the Great War as well as active duty in the Second.

I find it fascinating being able to talk to living history and the changes they witnessed during their lives from the first aircraft flown to the walking on the moon!

Without their input doing their duty we would not be sitting here free to do as we please and have a history to be proud of.

I wish I had known my Grand father more who fought in both the wars and from what my father told me of his actions I am proud to be part of a family that celebrates the achievements of what they went through.

I think we should not forget all those who gave their lives for this and their own countries and celebrate the fact we still have some of them with us so we don't forget

TnT

johnfairr
8th Mar 2006, 13:04
... The Spitfire formation that flew over Eastleigh was led by a two-seater, in the back of which was Alex Henshaw, a 93 year-old former test pilot for Vickers-Supermarine, who probably flew more Spits than anyone else!

Picking up on the comments of Airship I was reminded of the following

BBC South Today had extensive coverage, far more than the rest of the UK. One of the snippets not picked up nationwide was the interview with him afterwards, which went along the lines of " . . . I met many young men who went, willingly, to their deaths in these wonderful aeroplanes. I think if they came back today and walked through some of our towns, they'd feel betrayed".

Gave me pause for thought.:(


JF

OneWorld22
8th Mar 2006, 13:32
Alex Henshaw, a 93 year-old former test pilot for Vickers-Supermarine

Wow, I bet he has a lifetime of stories to tell and some hairy moments!

I wonder though why would so many feel betrayed? Presumably he means they would think that the country had gone to the Dogs. In what way? Europe? Crime? Immigration etc?

Would certainly be an interesting debate.

strafer
8th Mar 2006, 13:36
I found this site about a year ago

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/browse-refine.asp?CatID=10&searchType=browserefine&pagenumber=1&query=*&queryType=1

I managed to find my great-granddad's medal card on it. Quite humbling, especially as he had exactly the same name as me and was awarded a medal at Gallipoli for 'Trans Class 2' whatever that is.