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George Lawrence Price
December 15, 1892(1892-12-15) – November 11, 1918 (aged 25)
George lawrence price.jpg
Place of birth Falmouth, Nova Scotia
Place of death Ville-sur-Haine, Belgium
Resting place St Symphorian Military Cemetery, Mons, Belgium (50°25′56″N 4°0′38″E / 50.43222°N 4.01056°E / 50.43222; 4.01056Coordinates: 50°25′56″N 4°0′38″E / 50.43222°N 4.01056°E / 50.43222; 4.01056)
Allegiance Canada / British Empire
Service/branch Canadian Corps (Army)
Years of service 1917 – 1918
Rank Private
Unit 28th 'Northwest' Battallion Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment) aka. 'the Nor'westers'
Battles/wars Amiens, Cambrai, & the 'Pursuit to Mons'

Private George Lawrence Price (Regimental Number: 256265) (15 December 1892 – 11 November 1918) was a Canadian soldier who is traditionally recognized as being the last Commonwealth soldier killed during the First World War.

Contents

Early life

He was born in Falmouth, Nova Scotia on December 15, 1892, and raised on Church Street (in what is now Port Williams, Nova Scotia). He lived in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan when he was conscripted on the 15th of October 1917.[1] He served with "A" Company of the 28th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force.

11 November 1918

On 11 November, Price was part of an advance to take the small village of Havré. After an unauthorized crossing of the Canal du Centre into the town of Ville-sur-Haine under German machine gun fire, Pvt. Price and his patrol moved toward a row of houses intent on pursuing the machine gunner who had harassed their crossing of the canal. The patrol had entered the house they had thought the shooting had come from, but found the Germans had exited through the back door as they entered the front. They then pursued into the house next door and again found it empty. George Price was fatally shot in the region of his heart by a German sniper[2] as he stepped out of the house into the street, against contrary advice from a house occupant, at 10:58 a.m., November 11, 1918, and died just 2 minutes before the armistice ceasefire that ended the war went into effect at 11:00 a.m.[3]

Memorials

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Grave

He is buried in the St Symphorien military cemetery, just southwest of Mons. Coincidentally, St. Sympohorien is also the final resting place of John Parr the first British soldier killed during the Great War.

Memorial Plaque & Marker

In 1968, on the 50th anniversary of his death and the armistice surviving members of his company traveled to Ville-sur-Haine and a memorial plaque was placed onto a wall of a house near the location of his death. It read:

To the memory of Private George Lawrence Price 256265 of the 28th North West Battalion, 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division, killed in action near this spot at 10.58 hours, November 11, 1918, the last Canadian soldier to die on the Western Front in the First World War. Erected by his comrades, November 11, 1968.[4]

The house has since been torn down, but the plaque has been placed on a brick and stone monument near the site where the house originally stood, and thus still near the place where he fell.

Bridge

In 1991, the town of Ville-sur-Haine erected a new footbridge across the adjacent canal. A public plebiscite was held and the footbridge was officially named the Price Bridge.

Other

References

  1. ^ www.webmatters.net First World War site
  2. ^ Bridger, Goef (2009). The Great War Handbook. Barnsley: Pen & Sword. pp. 182. ISBN 978 1 84415 936 9. 
  3. ^ "November 11, 1918 - The Last Hours, The Last Man". www.nwbattalion.com. http://www.nwbattalion.com/last.html. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  4. ^ (November 11, 1918 - The Last Hours, The Last Man

See also


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