Digger hates combat
Last WWI veteran celebrates 110th birthday
A WEST Australian man believed to be the world’s last surviving WWI combat veteran hated war and only marched in Anzac Day parades when ordered to.
Claude Choules celebrated his 110th birthday in Perth yesterday.
He’s the last known male survivor of more than 70 million military personnel during WWI.
Born in England in 1901, Mr Choules served with Britain’s Royal Navy onboard the HMS Impregnable in 1916 aged 15.
He joined the battleship HMS Revenge in 1917 and witnessed the surrender of the German Fleet in 1918.
Mr Choules released his autobiography in 2009 titled The Last of the Last, depicting his childhood and move to Australia, as well as his times at war.
Mr Choules, who is now blind and almost completely deaf, now lives in a nursing home.
He and his wife, who passed away at the age of 98, had two daughters and a son.
He also has 13 grandchildren, 26 great - grand - children and two greatgreat-grandchildren.
His son, Adrian Choules, said Mr Choules was not excited about the milestone birthday or the attention he was receiving as the last surviving war combat veteran.
‘ ‘ He couldn’t care less about his birthday.
‘‘ He’s a celebrity now but that’s only because everyone else has died,’’ he said. ‘‘ He served in two wars but he hated war. He just saw it as a job . He never marched in an Anzac parade he wasn’t ordered to. ‘‘ Someone’s got to be the last man standing.’’
LEGEND: Claude Choules, WWI and WWII veteran, 110, in front of a painting of himself by his grandson Lindsay Pow