Search our site
The Heart of Mars by Paul Magrs Read the opening extract of the brand new Paul Magrs book before its publication on 15/03/2018

The Last of the Last The Final Survivor of the First World War by Claude Choules

The Last of the Last The Final Survivor of the First World War

Biography / Autobiography   History   eBook Favourites   

Lovereading view...

This amazing life story is relayed to us in autobiographical form by the last of World War I’s veterans (who was 110 on 3 March 2011). It is fascinating and poignant but also amusing and jaunty in its delivery. It is not over written and relies on recalled personal experience, beginning with a simple, slow unchanging rural upbringing in England, and progressing through the Great War, the years between and then World War II, culminating in Australia. I wonder how anyone ever went cheerfully to war and indeed kept their sanity or their life in the tumult that ensued. However Claude Choules seems to have found much to enjoy and take note of, even in the most arduous of circumstances. Generations have followed who have never experienced such things close to hand and it would be excellent reading for them to understand the then population’s selfless sense of duty towards home and family. Claude Choules' innocent youth was soon confronted with the machinery of war- something which most of us would recoil from, but in his old world courtesy and simplicity he manages to recount his adventures, written at the age of 80, without bragging or bravado and gives us a personal, military and social history which is valuable in the extreme. This memoir also reflects the amiable nature of a truly unique man - the world's last living combatant of the First World War.


The Last of the Last The Final Survivor of the First World War by Claude Choules

In 2009, aged 108, Claude Choules became the last man alive on active service before the 1918 Armistice and the last who served in both world wars. Claude learned life's lessons during a rural childhood in England and later in the Royal Navy as a boy sailor, before graduating to become an explosives expert in the Australian navy. In his 80s, Claude began working on his memoirs with the help of his daughters and now provides a riveting account of his lifetime that vividly mirrors how the last century unfolded. Claude has the insight of an ordinary man thrust to the forefront of international furore. He is opposed to the glorification of war, but his charming anecdotes honour a generation called upon to serve not once but twice.


An excellent window into the life of a boy seaman in the early twentieth century * Navy News * Claude Choules holds a special place in the country's history * Sunday Times *

About the Author

Claude Choules was born on 3 March 1901 in Pershore, Worcestershire, and emigrated to Australia in 1926. Married to Ethel for 76 years until her death in 2003, Claude has 3 children, 11 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-granddaughters. He lives in Perth, Australia.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

5th May 2011


Claude Choules

More books by Claude Choules
Author 'Like for Like'


Mainstream Publishing an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd


224 pages


Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Autobiography: historical, political & military
First World War
Second World War
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

The books for review are always great reads, brilliantly written, and introduces me to a huge variety of, established and new, authors.

Lesley Hart

Lovereading is a wonderful way to expand my literary horizons, discover inspiring authors & get the chance to read new novels first. #loveit

Zarina de Ruiter

Love Reading - it not only does what it says on the tin, it does it with Jam on!!

Maz Tucker

Hooked on books? Give Lovereading a go - for the chance to discover brilliant books, and to see why our members love it so.

Claire Hill

I love the honest opinions, recommendations for every genre and every reader, wish lists and Like for Like.

Amrita Dasgupta

I recommend Lovereading because you get honest reviews on a whole range of genres-there's something for everyone. It's the only site I need.

Sian Spinney

Lovereading tells me about new books before they hit the shelves, lets me find other authors I may like and has great prize draws!

Sheila Dale