Gladys Powers, last female veteran of World War I dies age 109

Monday, August 25, 2008

The world's last remaining female World War I (WWI) veteran Gladys Powers died on Friday age 109. She was also the last WWI veteran living in Canada. She died at her home in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The last Canadian-born veteran, John Babcock, currently resides in the United States.

Gladys Stokes Luxford Powers born in Lewisham, County of London, England and joined the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps at the age of 15 as a barracks waitress. She later transferred to the Women's Royal Air Force. It was during her service that she met her first husband, a Canadian soldier named Edward Luxford, in a hospital while she visited her brother. They later moved to Calgary, Alberta, where Powers gained Canadian citizenship, and the pair later divorced. Powers married three additional times, outliving all of her three other husbands. Since 1992 she had lived in Abbotsford.

Powers became the last surviving female World War I veteran after the death of Charlotte Winters in March 2007. She was also the last to live in Canada after Dwight Wilson also died in 2007. Powers is the 11th World War I veteran to die in 2008. There are twelve WWI veterans remaining worldwide, with a further four WWI-era veterans; there are also two unverified WWI veterans living.