THE Worcestershire-born last known combat veteran of the First World War has died at the age of 110.
Claude Choules was born in Pershore in 1901 and joined the Royal Navy aged just 14.
He served onboard HMS Revenge during the Great War then transferred to the Royal Australian Navy in 1926 before marrying an Australian woman and having three daughters.
Mr Choules passed away yesterday morning at a nursing home in the Western Australian city of Perth.
Following his death, daughter Daphne Edinger, 84, said: “We all loved him. It’s going to be sad to think of him not being here any longer, but that’s the way things go.”
Pershore councillor Val Wood visted Mr Choules on his 109th birthday last year.
Coun Wood was travelling to Australia to see family in Perth and was given a photo album from Wyre Piddle Parish Council to give to Mr Choules.
Coun Wood said: “It was nice to get a chance to meet him. He was utterly charming, one of life’s true gentlemen.
“It’s a shame to see people like him go but I think he will be happy up there looking down and thinking he’s glad to be out of this world.
“He was involved in two world wars but didn’t think they achieved anything, that’s why he became a pacifist.
“Especially with what has happened this week, he couldn’t believe that men are still killing each other in the 21st century. He found it very sad.”
Coun Wood said she had a good chat with Mr Choules.
She said: “He opened the album and could see the photos and we had a conversation about how the area has changed.
“We talked for a about half an hour until he became tired and demanded a cup of tea – you couldn’t take the British out of him.”
Some people believed he was born in Wyre Piddle but Coun Wood was shown a Census form which proved Mr Choules was actually born at 88 Bridge Street in Pershore.
He moved to Wyre Piddle with his family as a young boy.
Mr Choules was married to Ethel for 80 years until she died aged 98 and was a regular dancer up until just a few years ago.
He had 11 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.