Famous People Who Served

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:24 am

Angelo Roncalli – Pope John XXIII 1958 – 1963



During World War 1, Roncalli was drafted into the Royal Italian Army as a sergeant, serving in the medical corps as a stretcher-bearer and as a chaplain.


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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:24 am



Tolkien was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, and arrived in France in June 1916.  He served as a signals officer at the Somme, participating in the Battle of Thiepval Ridge and the subsequent assault on the Schwaben Redoubt.  In October 1916 he came down with trench fever, a disease carried by the lice which were common in the dugouts, and was invalided back to England.  He also suffered on more than one occasion from trench foot.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:25 am

Harry S Truman – President of United States 1945 – 1953



Truman served as a battery commander in an artillery regiment on the Western Front 1917-18.  His unit fired some of the last shots of World War I into German positions after the Armistice was signed at 5 am, but before the ceasefire took effect at 11 am.


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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:26 am

Henry Allingham – last surviving founding member of the Royal Air Force



Henry Allingham enlisted in the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) as an Air Mechanic in 1915 and was posted to the RNAS Air Station at Great Yarmouth after training.  In 1916 he was involved in the Battle of Jutland while on board a naval trawler; he was responsible for helping to launch the boat’s Sopwith Schneider seaplane.  In September 1917, he was posted to the Western Front on aircraft repair and recovery duties; he also instrumented the very first reconnaissance aircraft camera during the First World War.  He transferred to the Royal Air Force when the RNAS and the RFC were merged on 1 April 1918.  He was formally discharged to the RAF Reserve on 16 April 1919.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:29 am

Harry Patch – British Army, the last surviving soldier to have fought in the trenches of the First World War.



In October 1916, Harry Patch was conscripted as a private into the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, serving as an assistant gunner in a Lewis Gun section. He arrived in France in June 1917.  During his time in France he fought at the Battle of Passchendaele.  In September 1917, he was injured in the groin when a shell exploded overhead, killing 3 of his comrades. After this he was removed from the front line and returned to England in December 1917.  He was convalescing on the Isle of Wight when the Armistice was declared.

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Re: Famous People Who Served

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:29 am

Claude Choules – Royal Navy, the last World War I combat veteran



Choules was 13 at the start of World War I.  He was able to leave school when he turned 14, at which point he attempted to enlist in the army as a bugler boy but was rejected as too young.  With his father’s help, he trained to join the navy instead, joining the nautical training ship Mercury in April 1915.   In October 1917, he joined the battleship HMS Revenge, stationed at Scapa Flow.  While serving aboard, Choules saw action against a German zeppelin and witnessed the surrender of the German Imperial Navy at the Firth of Forth in November 1918, as well as the scuttling of the German fleet in Scapa Flow.  Choules remained in the Royal Navy after the war, but was posted to Australia in 1926 on loan as an instructor.  Choules decided to transfer permanently to the Royal Australian Navy, where he served throughout World War 2 and remained until 1951.  He was, therefore, also the last veteran to have served in both world wars.

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