May 5, 2011

AUSTRALIA: World War I veteran Claude Choules, 110, was Australia's oldest man

PERTH , Western Australia / Perth Now / News / May 5, 2011

Linda Cann,  The Sunday Times

LEST WE FORGET: The last surviving World War I veteran
Claude Choules, believed to be Australia's oldest man,
celebrates his 110th birthday on March 3 this year.
Source: PerthNow

Western Australia's national treasure Claude Choules - Australia's oldest man and the world's last surviving World War I veteran - has died, aged 110.

Mr Choules was a man who made the best of life and devoted himself to his family and country.

His fighting spirit helped him survive two world wars, and also live long enough to become the oldest man in WA and the last World War I veteran living in Australia.

His achievements and longevity also won him a starring role in a British documentary watched by millions.

But for Mr Choules, the mounting milestones and media interest from around the world in his later years increasingly paled in comparison to the importance of family.

His daughter, 80-year-old Anne Pow, said it was the good times he shared with family that he would talk about most, not the wars he described as “useless” and “destructive”.

The former naval explosives expert, who was also the last living person to have fought in both world wars, lived his last years in Gracewood Hostel in Salter Point.

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Copyright 2011 The Sunday Times