Jump to content

Bill Stone


Recommended Posts

Sad to report that Bill Stone, one of the last British survivors of the Great War, has died aged 108. He had a very bad cold and could not get over it. It is nice to report that his family were with him when he passed away. Bill took part in the 90th Anniversary commemorations of the end of the war at the Cenotaph in November. God bless him.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Indeed - he had one hell of a record by anyones standards!!


Bill Stone, one of the three remaining British First World War veterans, has died at the age of 108.


Mr Stone, who joined the Royal Navy in Plymouth as a stoker at 18 before progressing to the battleship HMS Hood, died on Sunday afternoon at a nursing home.

Dennis Goodwin of the World War One Veterans Association, said Mr Stone, who suffered chest problems, passed away with his daughter and son-in law by his side.

Mr Goodwin said: "I have known him for 14 or 15 years. He has survived many of his skirmishes and has shown tremendous fight.

"He was always a battler."

Mr Stone was born the 10th of 14 children in Kingsbridge, Devon, at the turn of the last century.


Speaking in recent years, Mr Stone said: "I've had a wonderful life. "I've always worked hard, never stopped for a minute and it's kept me going all right."

Mr Stone travelled to Cape Town, Tasmania, Jakarta, Newfoundland, Buenos Aires and Malta during a career which saw him work as a barrow boy, steam engine driver, barber, tobacconist and farm hand.

Mr Stone experienced first-hand the horrors of the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic and cut the hair of General Franco's brother after rescuing him from a stricken plane.

He witnessed South Africa's apartheid, grieved with a nation at the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, and danced in the streets at the end of the Great War (1914-1918).

"War is terrible," he once said. "I saw Plymouth flattened and at the end of the war I went to Germany and all their buildings were flattened too.

"We were guarding an island there but there was no trouble because the Germans were as glad, as we were, that it was all over. They didn't want war just as we didn't."

By the age of 16 he had joined the battlecruiser HMS Tiger, which took him to Scapa Flow, the home of the navy's Grand Fleet, before progressing to the battleship HMS Hood in 1922 to travel around the world "showing the flag" to the colonies.

During the Second World War, he made five trips to the beaches of Dunkirk on board HMS Salamander, went minesweeping to Arkhangel on Russia's northern coast and supported the Allied landing in Sicily in 1943.

Mr Stone was the last known veteran to serve in both World Wars.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...