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Claude Choules
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Military Personnel
    (March 3, 1901-May 5, 2011)
    Born in Pershore, England, United Kingdom
    Served with the Royal Navy in World War I
    Moved to Australia and transfered to the Royal Australian Navy (1926)
    Was Chief Demolition Officer for the western coast of Australia during World War II
    Was the last surviving combat veteran of World War I
    Wrote the autobiography 'The Last of the Last' (2009)
    When he was 14, he tried to join the army as a bugler, but was rejected for being underage.
    He said World War I was mostly 'boring.'
    He did not receive an Australian Defense Medal for his WWII service until 2009, 64 years after the war ended.
    Late in life, he became a pacifist, who refused to march in ANZAC Day celebrations because he felt it glorified war.
    He said the secret to a long life was 'Keep breathing.'
    When he was five, his mother, a Welsh actress, left home to return to the stage; he was told she had died and never saw her again.
    While serving on the HMS Revenge, he helped shoot down a German zeppelin.
    During World War II, he had to dispose of mines that washed up on Australian beaches.
    He said, 'If the old had to fight instead of the young, there would never be any wars.'
    He was married to Ethel Wildgoose for 76 years until her death at age 98.
    He continued swimming in the sea daily until age 100.
    In his last TV interview, he said, 'I had a pretty poor start. But I had a good finish.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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