The final known surviving soldier who fought for the Allies in World War 1 has gone to his final resting place.
The last known survivor of the 70 million men who fought in the First World War has died, a pacifist, at the age of 110.
Claude Stanley Choules, known to his friends as “Chuckles”, was born in Pershore, Worcestershire, and served in the Royal Navy.
He spent his final years in a nursing home in Perth, Western Australia.
As a teenager he served in The War aboard the battleship HMS Revenge from which he watched the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet and the scuttling of its ships at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys.
In 1926 he emigrated to Australia and was seconded into the Royal Australian Navy.
He served aboard HMAS Canberra until 1931, and after briefly leaving the Navy, rejoined the following year as a torpedo and anti-submarine instructor.
As the acting torpedo officer at Fremantle in WWII, Mr Choules disposed of the first German mine to wash up on Australian soil.
He declared himself a pacifist and declined to take part in Australia’s popular remembrance parades.
His son, Adrian, said: “He’s a celebrity, but that’s only because everyone else has died.
“He served in two wars but he hated war – he just saw it as a job.”
Mr Choules was married for 76 years and his wife Ethel passed away at the age of 98, in 2003.
They had two daughters and a son, as well as 13 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
I can understand why he became a pacifist. He served in 2 wars, and saw the horrors of what the nature of warfare is all about. Many men who have served in either or both of the World Wars have renounced violence for a better way to resolve our problems in the hope that the deaths of their buddies would not be in vain.
It is a shame that too many people don’t believe in peace.
Claude “Chuckles” Choules has now gone to a better place. And a grateful world says “Thank You!” Pacifist or not!