- The Washington Times - Monday, November 28, 2005

TORONTO (AP) — Clarence Laking, the last living Canadian who saw action in World War I, died Nov. 26 at a Toronto hospital. He was 106.

In 1917, when he was 18, Mr. Laking enlisted in the 64th Battery in Guelph, Ontario, against his minister father’s wishes. He served two years in France as a signaler, stringing wire for field telephones along the trenches.

His duties included trips to the front line to observe where the first shell landed and then telephone the information to gunners at the rear.

Near the end of the war, Mr. Laking was hit on the head by shrapnel. He suffered a small flesh wound and was in the first-aid station when the war ended.



He was awarded the French Legion of Honor and the Golden Jubilee Medal.

His death leaves four Canadians still alive who served in the 1914-18 conflict.

After the war, Mr. Laking farmed in the Peace River area of northern Alberta, then worked for lumber companies in Toronto.

He remained active throughout his life, curling until he was 96 and driving until he was 102.

Mr. Laking’s wife died in 1993.

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