Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

February 19, 2010 09:27 ET

Canada Mourns the Passing of Last Known First World War Veteran

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 19, 2010) - Canada's last known First World War Veteran has passed away. John "Jack" Babcock, the man believed to be the last surviving Canadian to have served in the First World War, has died at age 109 in Spokane, Washington on February 18, 2010.

The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), today expressed his condolences to the family of Mr. Babcock, on behalf of all Canadians. 

"Today marks the sad turning of a page," said Minister Blackburn. "With Mr. Babcock's passing away, there is no one left to tell us first-hand about this defining time in our history." 

"More than 650,000 brave Canadians and Newfoundlanders served our country in the First World War," said Minister Blackburn. "Now that their voices have fallen silent, it becomes our duty—more than ever—to remember and honour their great sacrifices and their great achievements. We will never forget them."  

Mr. Babcock was born July 23, 1900, and grew up on a farm in Kingston, Ontario. He was only 15 years old when he enlisted. After the war ended, Mr. Babcock moved to the United States where he remained until he passed away.

The passing of Canada's last known First World War Veteran marks the end of an era. The Government of Canada has plans to properly and respectfully mark this moment in our history. Canadians will have the opportunity to pay their respect and honour all those who served our country in the First World War. Details will be announced in the coming days.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Sophie Doucet
    Press Secretary