One of five remaining First World War veterans dies

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The Independent Online

One of FIVE remaining First World War veterans has died. Leicester-born Sydney Lucas died on Tuesday in his adopted home town of Rosebud, near Melbourne, Australia. He was 108.

Mr Lucas was aged 17 when he was conscripted as a soldier with the Sherwood Foresters regiment in August 1918. Due to timing and illness he never saw action in either World War.

He was still training when the First World War ended and after emigrating to Australia and joining the Australian Army in the late 1930s, he was struck down with appendicitis before his battalion was sent to fight in Crete.

Dennis Goodwin, the chairman of the World War One Veterans' Association, said of Mr Lucas: "He was always ready, willing and able."

Of the five million men and women who served in Britain's armed forces in the First World War, only four are still alive. Henry Allingham, 112, Harry Patch, 110, and Bill Stone, 108, live in Britain while Claude Choules, 107, lives in Australia. Health permitting, the three British-based veterans will lead a two-minute silence at the Cenotaph in London to commemorate Armistice Day next Tuesday.

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