make the most of Lovereading hold back the stars
Search our site
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber Read the opening extract of the brand new Kathleen Barber book before its publication on 27/12/2017

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   eBook Favourites   
Notify me
when in stock

As soon as this book is back in stock we will send you an email.

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.

Win a signed copy by Dame Vera Lynn

Three very lucky winners will each receive a signed copy by Dame Vera Lynn and her daughter Virginia of Dame Vera Lynn's memoir - Keep Smiling Through; My Wartime Story - written with her daughter Virginia Lewis-Jones, together with a DVD of the birthday concert held in her honour to celebrate her 100th birthday earlier this year.

To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 15 December 2017. The winners will be notified by 15th December 2017, and you should get your prize in time for Christmas.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 15/12/2017


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
eBook Favourites

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



Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

With literary excellence, humour and drama, Lovereading's got value and is a real stress-calmer!

Siobhan McDowell

Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

Because of Lovereading I have broadened my reading horizons with some really great books that I probably would never have chosen myself.

Susan Walsh

I 'Lovereading' because it lets me see what new books are around with a detailed synopsis and readers' reviews.

Judith Sharp

You can trust Lovereading to show unbiased reviews by actual, ordinary readers that help likeminded booklovers choose their next great read.

Linda Hill

Lovereading is like booking a holiday, you don't know what it will be like and it is a whole new experience.

Sue Burton