World War I: last men standing
Following the death of the Italian-French war veteran Lazare Ponticelli, a total of nine men who served in their countries' armed forces during World War I are known to be still alive.
PARIS, March 12, 2008 (AFP) - Following the death of the Italian-French war
veteran Lazare Ponticelli, a total of nine men who served in their countries'
armed forces during World War I are known to be still alive around the world.
The list, in order of seniority:
- Henry Allingham of Britain, aged 111. The only survivor to have served
from beginning to end of the conflict, he started in the Royal Navy and then
ended in the Air Force, seeing action at the Somme.
- Yakup Satar of Turkey, aged 109. Signed up in 1915 for the Ottoman Army,
worked with the Germans, notably on gas weapons, and was captured in 1917 in
what is now Iraq.
- Harry Patch of Britain, 109. Called up in 1917 and saw action in the
trenches of the Belgian front, including during the murderous 3rd Battle of
Ypres. Injured by a shell in the same year.
- Delfino Borroni of Italy, 109. Joined an elite unit in 1917 and notably
fought against Austro-Hungarian forces in the Tyrol.
- Francesco Chiarello, also of Italy, 109. Called up in 1918 and saw action
in his country's final battles of the war.
- Frank Buckles, United States, 107. Joined up by lying about his age when
his country entered the war in 1917 and served as an ambulance driver in
England and France.
- John Babcock of Canada, aged 107. Was sent to Britain as a junior soldier
with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1917, but did not see action because
he was too young.
- Franz Kuenstler of Germany, aged 107. Joined a Hungarian artillery unit
in February 1918, and served in Italy. Only survivor of the Austro-Hungarian
- Claude Choules of Britain, aged 106. Joined the Royal Navy in 1916 and
served in the North Sea while only a teenager.