Soldier, 103, served at Vimy Ridge
Date: Thursday, March 06 2003
Topic: International News
Canada has lost its last living link to the infantry soldiers who climbed out of the trenches to bring the Allies victory at Vimy Ridge during the First World War.
Charles Reaper, 103, of Winnipeg died Saturday just over a month shy of the 86th anniversary of that decisive victory in 1917.
His death leaves only about a dozen surviving Canadian soldiers who fought in the First World War. Three of those were also at Vimy, but Reaper was the last infantry soldier.
Federal Veterans Affairs Minister Rey Pagtakhan paid tribute this week to Reaper's valiant efforts.
"It is always sad to hear of the loss of one more hero," he said.
Pagtakhan said the country owes each of the soldiers a continuing debt of gratitude.
"We are really losing a national treasure every time a World War One veteran passes away," added Gabriela Klimes, a spokeswoman for Veterans Affairs in Winnipeg.