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Britain's last WWI vet says war was boring

Britain's last surviving World War I veteran has shrugged off his achievement and even described the conflict as boring, a report said. Claude Choules, 108, who lives in a nursing home in Perth reacted calmly when told he had become Britain's only survivor from the 1914-1918 war.

world Updated: Jul 27, 2009 10:47 IST

Britain's last surviving World War I veteran has shrugged off his achievement and even described the conflict as boring, a report said on Monday.

, 108, who lives in a nursing home in Perth, Australia, reacted calmly when told he had become Britain's only survivor from the 1914-1918 war.

"Everything comes to those who wait and wait," he told The Australian newspaper.

Choules was informed by his 80-year-old daughter Anne Pow over the weekend that the death of 111-year-old Harry Patch, Britain's last soldier who fought in the Great War's infamous trenches, had made him the country's sole survivor.

Patch's death, a week after that of fellow veteran and world's oldest man Henry Allingham, 113, prompted a national outpouring of grief in Britain.

Choules served on HMS Revenge during a 41-year naval career which spanned both world wars, witnessing the surrender of the German Imperial Navy in 1918 and the scuttling of the fleet in Scapa Flow, The Australian said.

He was seconded to the Australian navy in 1926 and remained in the force for 30 years. However, Pow said her father had always said war was mostly very tedious punctuated by moments of extreme danger.

Choules was married to his wife Ethel for 80 years until her death at 98 and was a regular dancer up to just a few years ago, the report said.

The dersdesders.free.fr website, regarded as an authoritative chronicle of veterans of World War I, says there are now just three veterans left alive including Choules.

The other two are American Frank Buckles, 108, and Canadian John Babcock, 109, who both live in the United States. Neither Buckles nor Babcock saw active combat, the website says.