December 16, 2005 17:38 ET
OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 16, 2005) - On behalf of all Canadians, the Honourable Albina Guarnieri, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today expressed her condolences to the family of a Canadian First World War Veteran, William "Duke" Procter, 106, who died December 15, 2005.
"The passing of Mr. Procter reminds us of how important it is to honour and remember those who have served our nation," said Minister Guarnieri. "Too soon, sadly, our country will no longer have Veterans from the First World War. The Year of the Veteran is coming to an end but our debt of gratitude continues and we will never forget."
William Procter was born on his father's homestead at Mable Lake, British Columbia on August 18, 1899. As a child, he learned the trade of logging, which would become useful during his stint in the Armed Forces. Mr. Procter enlisted in March 1916 and was sent to England later that same year. Too young for active duty in the battlefields of France, he helped the war effort by working in a bush camp, cutting timbers for the tunnels at Vimy Ridge and elsewhere. Mr. Procter remained in England for three years.
At the end of November, Clarence (Clare) Laking, one of Canada's few remaining Veterans of the First World War, passed away at age 106. With the passing of Mr. Procter and Mr. Laking, Canada has only three known surviving Veterans of the First World War:
Lloyd Clemett, Toronto, ONP. Dwight Wilson, Oshawa, ONJohn F. Babcock, Spokane, WA
Veterans Affairs CanadaJanice SummerbyMedia Relations Advisor(613) 992-7468orOffice of the Minister of Veterans AffairsCorey HobbsDirector of Communications(613) 947-4908
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