CENSUS-CHAT-L ArchivesArchiver > CENSUS-CHAT > 2005-11 > 1133147874
From: "Gordon A. Watts" <>
Subject: WWI Veteran dies at age 106
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2005 19:17:54 -0800
Those who have read the posts of myself and Muriel Davidson will be
aware of her visits to Sunnybrook Hospital where her husband until
recently was resident. Two other residents of Sunnybrook with whom
Muriel was aquainted were WWI veterans.
Sadly, I have just been advised that one of those WWI veterans, Clare
Laking, died yesterday at the age of 106. Mr. Laking was to have
presented a wreath at Remembrance Day ceremonies but fell ill and was
unable to attend.
The following was taken from CBC News.
First World War veteran dies at 106
Last Updated Sun, 27 Nov 2005 19:09:06 EST
One of the last remaining Canadian veterans of the First World War has
Clare Laking, 106, died at Toronto's Sunnybrook and Women's Health
Sciences Centre on Saturday.
"Mr. Laking's passing leaves only four Canadian veterans from the Great
War," the hospital said in a news release issued Sunday.
"It is believed that he was the last Canadian World War I veteran to
have seen action, having fought on the front line." The hospital said
Laking remained in good health until only weeks before his death,
curling until age 96, holding seasons tickets for the Toronto Maple
Leafs until age 100 and holding a driver's licence until 102.
Laking was 18 when he joined the army against his father's wishes. "My
dad was against anything to do with the war," he told CBC News in 2004,
as he marked Remembrance Day. "So I said, 'I know, I'll shut him up and
He said his father never wrote him, even when he was injured near the
end of the war. But they later reconciled and he said in 2004 that he
had come to agree with his father's pacifist ideas - that the world
should settle its differences without war.
Laking was a private with the Canadian Field Artillery, 27th Battery,
4th Brigade. He served in France for two years, stringing telephone
wire for field telephones along the trenches. "I'd run for 20 yards and
... then I'd flop, get up and run another 20 yards," Laking said in
2004, recalling his trips to the front line. He suffered a small flesh
wound near the end of the war, when shrapnel hit his head.
Laking was awarded the French Legion of Honour and the Golden Jubilee
Medal. After the war, he farmed and then worked for a series of lumber
companies in Toronto. In 1929, he married Helen Paterson, who died in
1993. He is survived by two children, four grandchildren and nine
The family intends to hold a small, private funeral, the hospital said.
They asked that any donations in his memory be made to the Veterans
Gordon A. Watts
Co-chair Canada Census Committee
Port Coquitlam, BC
en francais http://www.globalgenealogy.com/Census/Index_f.htm
Read my e-newsletter 'Gordon Watts Reports" at
Permission to forward without notice is granted
|WWI Veteran dies at age 106 by "Gordon A. Watts" <>|