Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

April 19, 2008 15:15 ET

Government of Canada Honours First World War Veteran

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - April 19, 2008) - Today, at a small family ceremony in Spokane, Washington, the Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, presented a Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation to Mr. John Babcock, Canada's last known First World War Veteran.

"Mr. Babcock is an ambassador for all those who served in the First World War, and his contribution to our understanding of this period in our history is immeasurable," said Minister Thompson. "Mr. Babcock is our last personal connection to a remarkable generation of Canadian heroes."

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 the "Boys Battalion." Before he turned 18 and was eligible to go to the front lines, the war had ended.

The Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation is presented to individuals who have contributed to the care and well-being of Veterans and to the remembrance of their contribution, sacrifice and achievements. It is intended primarily for Veterans, but in some circumstances may also be awarded to non-Veterans. Nominations may be submitted by the public at any time and are reviewed annually by an advisory committee.

The Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation consists of a bar, which can be worn below official decorations on a Veteran's blazer, a lapel pin for civilian wear and a certificate.

More information on the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation and Mr. John Babcock can be found on 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