Battleland

The Last Doughboy, R.I.P.

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There used to be a newsletter for American veterans of World War I. When I first saw it some two decades or more ago, it noted there were some 4,000 of them still alive. I haven’t seen it in many years — I don’t recall its name, but it might have been The Torch. Amazing that any were still alive, given that their war began in this decade a century ago. Alas, its subscriber base dwindled to zero over the weekend with the death of Frank Buckles of West Virginia at 110.

From this morning’s Washington Post:

In 1917 and 1918, close to 5 million Americans served in World War I, and Mr. Buckles, a cordial fellow of gentle humor, was the last known survivor. “I knew there’d be only one someday,” he said a few years back. “I didn’t think it would be me.” ┬áHis daughter, Susannah Buckles Flanagan, said Mr. Buckles, a widower, died of natural causes on his West Virginia farm, where she had been caring for him.

Godspeed, Corporal Buckles.