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Remembered Today:

Surviving veterans


Guest Quickfire Media

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Guest Quickfire Media

Dear all,

I wrote recently explaining that we are making a documentary about the last first world war veterans for the BBC. I got some very kind replies, including one expressing concern that we were researching the topic sensitively. Since then, we have contacted a number of veterans, and we have, I hope, treated them with the utmost respect that they deserve. We've felt honoured to be able to hear their experiences not just of the war, but of life in the last one hundred years.

There is one thing that you might be able to help with, however. There are undoubtedly some surviving British first world war veterans living abroad in Australia, the US, Canada and elsewhere. Does anyone have any idea how many there might be, or which veteran's organisations might care for them?

MB

Melissa Blackburn

Assistant Producer

Quickfiremedia.

melissa.blackburn@quickfiremedia.com

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G'day Melissa,

There are less than a dozen WW1 Australian vets left. You can contact the Department of Veterans Affairs on;

www.dva.gov.au

Regards,

Andrew Smith

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Guest Quickfire Media

Thanks for your help with this - as far I now know, there are no British veterans alive in Canada, and a handful in Australia. If anyone has any more information, let me know. Thanks again, Melissa

melissa.blackburn@quickfiremedia.com

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Hi Melissa:

There is one British veteran living in Canada that I'm aware of: Alice Strike, Royal Flying Corps. Alice was stationed at Godalming in England. She met and married (Alice was 20) a CEF soldier Jim Stobie and moved with him to Winnipeg, Manitoba. They had four children.

The last information I have on Alice is about 10 months old. She's now 106 years old and is living in Camp Hill Veterans Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Garth

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As Andrew mentioned there aren't many left in Australia. I think 7 is the current total. The last survivor in Western Australia is a chap named Peter Casserley who served in 1917/18 in the 2nd Light Railway Operating Company.

At last report he was still in good health.

Regards

Andrew

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Quickfire Media

Dear all

Hope you're all well - just got one more thought. I think that there are about 21 British First World War veterans living in the UK - and as you can imagine, they're an incredible bunch. There are, we think, several more who now live abroad. In addition, we think that there are about 37 French first world war veterans still living. But does anyone know how many German veterans are alive? The embassy doesn't know, and it seem to be a complete mystery........

Best wishes,

Melissa Blackburn

Quickfire Media

melissa.blackburn@quickfiremedia.com

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I recently saw an article about a service at the monument for the 40th Fusilier Regiment (and 40th Reserve and Landwehr Regiments) which said that there was one veteran from the 40th Regiment was still alive. I guess there must still be around 40 German veterans alive, but where?

Jan

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Garth's mention of RFC clerk Alice Strike in Nova Scotia reminded me that she was presented with the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal back in February by the Lieutenant Governor, who commented that Alice was by far the most senior recipient of the 46,000 Canadians who received the award.

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Garth's mention of RFC clerk Alice Strike in Nova Scotia reminded me that she was presented with the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal back in February by the Lieutenant Governor, who commented that Alice was by far the most senior recipient of the 46,000 Canadians who received the award.

Hi Terry:

Did you happen to save the newspaper article that this appeared in? I'd love a copy if you did. Thanks.

Garth

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Hi Garth,

Actually I was digging through J.P.LeBlanc's website, and saw the reference to a CBC story. It was at www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/02/11/medal_strike030211

Hope I copied it down right! If not go to JP's site, check the Canada section - Golden Jubilee Medal category, and scroll your way through the articles.

Cheers,

Terry

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