Funeral to be held for Canada's last known First World War veteran.

CanWest News Service
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The body of the last known First World War veteran who served Canada will be laid to rest Saturday in Spokane, Wash., where he spent much of his working life.
John Babcock died Feb. 18 at the age of 109, severing a link to the era that saw Canada come of age as a nation.
At the funeral at Messiah Lutheran Church on Saturday afternoon, the veteran's widow, Dorothy, will be presented with the flag that was flying on Parliament Hill the day her husband died.
Born in July 1900 on a farm in Kitchener, Ont., Babcock served in the Canadian Army from 1916 to 1919.
Though he was one of 650,000 Canadian men and women who served in the Canadian Forces during the First World War, Babcock never saw battle.
Soon after flying Babcock to England and finding out he had lied about his age, the Canadian Army transferred him to reserve battalions, where he would wait to turn 18 before getting to the front lines. But the war ended before he reached that birthday.
When Babcock returned to Canada following the war, he was employed as a labourer in Ontario and Saskatchewan before settling in the United States, where he served in the army from 1921 to 1924.
After leaving the army, Babcock became an electrician, then moved to Spokane in 1934.
Married twice, Babcock met his first spouse, Elsie, in Oakland, Wash. The two were married for 44 years before she died. They had two children, a boy and a girl.
Later, he worked in the oil business and then moved on to natural gas before operating his own business as a mechanical contractor. At the end of his career, he worked for his son's waterworks equipment wholesale business and didn't retire until he was 87.
He married his second wife, Dorothy, in 1976.
Babcock had said he would prefer a simple family memorial service to a state funeral.
The Royal Canadian Legion has confirmed a service to honour veterans of the First World War will take place in Ottawa.

Organizations: Canadian Army, Messiah Lutheran Church, Canadian Forces Royal Canadian Legion

Geographic location: Canada, Spokane, Wash., Kitchener England Ontario Saskatchewan United States Oakland Ottawa

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  • jim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    John...thank you,thank you so very much!

  • Æ
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Unselfish Sacrifice - he lied about his age to enter The Great War, of which he thought was just. So very different from today's profit-driven wars.

  • Mary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    My father & Uncle also lied about their age to get into WW1 they were 16 &17, then they also went to WW2. They were orphans when WW1 broke out.

  • jim
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    John...thank you,thank you so very much!

  • Æ
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Unselfish Sacrifice - he lied about his age to enter The Great War, of which he thought was just. So very different from today's profit-driven wars.

  • Mary
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    My father & Uncle also lied about their age to get into WW1 they were 16 &17, then they also went to WW2. They were orphans when WW1 broke out.