EXPIRED: 02/18/10 – John Babcock, 109, was a 15 year old Canadian farm boy when he joined the Canadian Armed Forces to fight in World War I. This month he became the last of the more than 650,000 Canadians who served during that war.
He never really saw combat. Once they found out his age he was sent to England to serve in a reserve battalion for young soldiers. Had the war had lasted another year, he would have fought.
Babcock died at 109 at his home in Spokane, Washington, having emigrated to the U.S. soon after the war was over.
After moving south of the border, he served in the U.S. Army for a few years, and tried to re-enlist during World War II, but was turned down because he was too old.
Babcock’s first wife, Elsie, died of cancer in 1976. His second wife, Dorothy, was a nurse who had helped care for Elsie. Fancy that.
So, to the last surviving Canadian vet of WWI, Officer Babcock, we salute you.