Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

May 13, 2008 14:10 ET

First World War Veteran Forever a Canadian

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - May 13, 2008) - Today, at a small family ceremony in Spokane, Washington, Mr. John Babcock, the last known soldier to have served Canada in the First World War, became a Canadian citizen. The oath of citizenship was witnessed by the Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs.

"Bestowing Canadian citizenship upon Mr. Babcock is a fitting tribute to a man who represents the very best of what we rightfully call Canada's 'Greatest Generation'," said Minister Thompson. "I know Canadians will be pleased that we have been able to do this for Mr. Babcock. As he told me the first time I met him, he still considers himself a 'Canadian at heart'."

"This is unexpected and great news," said Mr. Babcock. "I was born in Canada and now I am a Canadian. This completes my circle of life."

"We are proud to be bringing Mr. Babcock back into the Canadian family and to honour the service he gave to this country as a young man," said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. "After all these years, Mr. Babcock is a proud Canadian."

John Babcock was born in July 1900 and grew up on a farm near Kingston, Ontario. He was 15 years old when he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Upon his arrival in England a few months later, Mr. Babcock was transferred to serve with the "Boys Battalion" until he turned 18 years of age. The war ended before he was able to serve on the front lines. Mr. Babcock moved to the United States after the War. He became a U.S. citizen in 1946, and automatically lost his status as a British subject.

For more information on Mr. Babcock, please see the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications
    Consulate General of Canada, Seattle
    Kim Blanchette
    206-770-4062 (office)
    206-321-3640 (cell)
    Office of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
    Tim Vail
    Press Secretary