Frank Woodruff Buckles
The Order of the First World War notes with deep sadness the passing of Frank Woodruff Buckles, the last surviving veteran of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I. Mr. Buckles often referred to as "Pershing's Last Patriot" died on Sunday, 27 February 2011 at his home, Gap View Farm, near Charles Town West Virginia at age 110. Our sympathies go out to his daughter, Susannah Buckles Flanagan, and his other relatives and many friends.
With Corporal Buckles death only two known veterans of World War I remain, Florence Green in Great Britain and Claude Choules in Austrailia.
Mr. Buckles was the last Commander-in-Chief and only remaining member of The Veterans of World War I of the United States, Inc. He and his daughter are members of the Order of the First World War. Mrs. Flanagan recently wrote, "On behalf of my father and myself I wish to thank you for electing us to honorary membership in the Order of the First World War. As the daughter of the last known U. S. WWI veteran still living it means a great deal to me to be included in this august organization. With best wishes, Frank W. Buckles, Susannah B. Flanagan."
We in the Order of the First World War are deeply sensible of the responsibility which now rests upon us, descendants of those men and women who participated in the "Great War" and the "War to end all Wars" to speak on their behalf and encourage all Americans to support the completion of the World War I memorial restoration which was Frank Buckles hope and dream. To us the words of the Great War poem have more even more poignant meaning to day than ever:
"In Flanders fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing fly
Scare heard amid the guns below,
We are the Dead, short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
And now we lie,
In Flanders Fields
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Field."
As the Centennial of World War I approaches we are deeply sensible of the responsibility which the passing of Cpl. Frank Woodruff Buckles has thrust upon us and all Americans and that we, descendants of those who participated in that great struggle along side Frank Buckles particularly bear. Let us not fail to hold high the torch of history and his memory and those of all who served.
James D. Partin, Commander
Robert G. Carroon, Sr. Vice Commander
The Order of the First World War