Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Thursday, 10 May 2007

A Soldier of the Great War

Dwight Percy Wilson, a soldier of the Great War, died in Toronto on Wednesday. He was 106. The death of Mr. Wilson this week, leaves only John Babcock as the lone Canadian survivor of the Great War.

Percy Wilson was only 15 when he enlisted in 1915 and did so because he felt it was his duty. He trained as a mounted bugler before joining Toronto's 69th Artillery Battery -- three years shy of the legal minimum.

Once in England, his superiors realized he was too young, and held him back from the front lines. He stayed in the reserves a short time, digging trenches in Dover before being sent back to Canada. There, he was discharged as a minor, but a still-determined Mr. Wilson re-enlisted in the 69th Battery. He was discharged again in 1918.

Mr. Wilson's patriotism didn't wane after that. Two decades later, when the Second World War broke out, Mr. Wilson became a captain in Stratford's 1st Regiment Reserves. By then, he was too old for active duty, though try he did. May he and his wonderful generation rest in peace.

For King and Empire now down to 6 British, 1 Canadian and 1 Australian.


Splendor Sine Occasu said...

IIRC, the last "Canadian" WWI veteran is not a Canadian anymore. He is a naturalised US citizen who served in the US Army in WWII. I saw an interview where he said that he does not want a state funeral when he dies because he is not a Canadian anymore, and considers himself American.

So with that in mind, I would say that Mr. Wilson was our last WWI veteran.

Beaverbrook said...

If that's the case, then it's only fair that we consider the still living Gladys Power as our last Great War veteran, who was British during the War and is now a Canadian citizen living in Canada.

I saw the same interview and I totally understand the point of a man who became an American way back in 1924. However, no matter who he is today, he fought with the Canadian Corps during the Great War and so must be considered - by God-given right - to be our last Great War vet. No state funeral, but some other state ceremony should take its place when he dies.

Younghusband said...

Currently reading Martin Gilbert's 'Somme' which a Korean student has given me. Although English might be her third language, the book is marked with notes and passages marked in highlighter; not only a new generation learning about past heroism and horror, but new regions...

Splendor Sine Occasu said...

Interesting...I was unaware of Mr. Power. Thank you, Lord Beaverbrook.