In 1917, a 16-year-old named Frank Buckles, repeatedly rejected for enlistment because he was underage, managed to convince the Army to let him fight in World War I. 94 years later, following a long life that included a stint as a POW in The Phillipines during World War II and a prominent role advocating a national World War I memorial later in life, Buckles has died at the age of 110.
When asked in February 2008 how it felt to be the last of his kind, he said simply, “I realized that somebody had to be, and it was me.” And he told The Associated Press he would have done it all over again, “without a doubt.”
“A boy of [that age], he’s not afraid of anything. He wants to get in there,” Buckles said.
The last known survivors of World War I, Claude Stanley Choules and Florence Green, are both British. There are no known French or German World War I survivors.