Clare Laking died today at the age of 106. Laking was a private with the Canadian Field Artillery, 27th Battery, 4th Brigade. He is considered the last remaining veteran of the Great War who saw action on the front-lines.
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….
“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 enlist.'”
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.
He has found his peace. May we honour him and the millions of others by working towards a world that knows only peace and reconciliation, not war.