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And then there were five left

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BerichtGeplaatst: 27 Jul 2007 21:42    Onderwerp: And then there were five left Reageer met quote

July 26, 2007

ONE of only six surviving World War One “Tommies” has died at 107.

Just five British WW1 veterans remain alive after the death of Bill Young — three living in the UK and two others who emigrated to Australia.

Great-grandad Bill survived a shell blast in France and then capture by the Japanese in World War Two.

During WW1 he served as a trench-based wireless operator with the RAF’s forerunner the Royal Flying Corps. He was the last RFC serviceman.

His narrowest escape came when a German shell exploded three metres away.

Scots-born Bill recalled in a memoir he dictated for his family: “A fragment went through my jacket but missed my chest.”

He also remembered the menace of rats in the trenches at night. Bill said: “I used to cover myself with my coat and groundsheet, but I used to feel them running over me.”

Bill’s task was to use his pioneering crystal wireless set to take down morse code transmissions about German positions from spotter planes.

He would phone the details to artillery crews to help direct fire against the enemy.

Brave Bill wanted to become a pilot but was asked to continue with his wireless duties because of a crucial shortage of skilled operators.

When WW1 ended he returned to London and obtained a chemistry degree before emigrating to Borneo to run a tanning factory.

When Japan invaded in WW2, he scorned opportunities to escape to remain behind and sabotage the works.

Bill refused a demand by the Jap secret police to work for his captors. He said: “I did not think it would be right with my country at war.”

Twice he was slapped for failing to salute an enemy officer.

After the war Bill, wife May and their only child settled near Perth, Australia.

For much of his long life he remained silent about his World War One service and his experiences at the hands of the Japanese.

It was only when pressed by one of his two granddaughters that he dictated his memories.

Son Alan, 71, said: “He was a quiet sort of person. I hardly knew anything about what happened to him in the war and later with the Japanese.”

Bill died in his sleep in Perth earlier this week.

The remaining WW1 survivors are Henry Allingham — Europe’s oldest man at 111, of Brighton; Harry Patch, 109, of Wells, Somerset; William Stone, 106, of Devon; Claude Choules, 106, of Perth; and Sydney Lucas, 106, of Melbourne.,,2-2007340447,00.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Jul 2007 6:18    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Bill Young, the last Scottish veteran of the First World War, has died at the age of 107 at his home in Australia.

The war hero served with the Royal Flying Corps during the 1914-1918 war and was held captive by the Japanese in the Second World War. Mr Young died in Perth, Australia, where he had lived since 1945. He was born in Carluke in 1900, the eldest of six children and on his 18th birthday enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps.

The only other remaining British First World War survivors are thought to be Henry Allingham of Brighton, who is Europe's oldest man at 111; Sydney Lucas and Claude Choules, both 106 and living in Australia; Harry Patch, 109, who lives in Somerset and William Stone, 106, from Devon.
After the war Mr Young gained a chemistry degree in London before emigrating to Borneo where he worked as an industrial chemist. He was able to get his wife and son away on a coastal steamer to Darwin in Australia before the Japanese invasion but stayed behind to sabotage his works and help the fight against the Japanese. He was interned by the Japanese in February 1942 and spent a month in solitary confinement for refusing to help them. He remained in a Japanese prisoner of war camp until it was liberated by the Australian troops in 1945.

He lived quietly in Australia until his death and hardly spoke about his long and eventful life. He was awarded the Legion d'honneur by France in 1998 in recognition of his service there.
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Geregistreerd op: 27-2-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Jul 2007 12:13    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Helaas worden het er steeds minder..
Zag vanochtend vroeg op de Belgische TV dat 1 van de Ieper veteranen Ieper bezocht.
"I'm not only the greatest, I'm the double greatest. Not only do I knock em out, I pick the round!!" Muhammad Ali
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Sep 2007 22:51    Onderwerp: Harry Patch Reageer met quote

And what about this one


in 2007 als je 109 bent nog een bezoek brengen aan daar waar je gediend hebt, dan ben je toch hardcore!!!
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