WWI veteran Claude Choules celebrates 110th birthday

Claude Choules with his daughter Claude Choules has three children and 11 grandchildren

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The British man believed to be the last surviving combat veteran of World War I is celebrating his 110th birthday.

He emigrated to Australia before World War II, and now lives in a nursing home in Perth.

Raised by his father, young Claude wanted to be a bugler in the Army and tried to lie about his age so that he could be recruited.

When he failed, his father got him onto a Royal Navy training ship instead and he joined up in 1916 at the age of 14.

During the Great War, Claude was a seaman with the first battle squadron and served aboard its flagship HMS Revenge.

As a young sailor, he bore witness to one of the most remarkable episodes of the war - the surrender of the German Imperial Navy and its scuttling in 1918 at Scapa Flow, off the Orkneys.

He is now blind and almost totally deaf - a veteran with a failing body but a still sprightly mind.

His family is putting on a small celebration in Perth, but say he is not too fussed about reaching the milestone of his 110th birthday.

He is a modest man who feels slightly embarrassed by the attention he has received.

In the mid-1920s, Claude came to Australia on loan from the Royal Navy and then took up a permanent transfer to the Royal Australian Navy.

A demolition expert, he was tasked with laying booby traps in Fremantle harbour, which would have been exploded in the event of a Japanese invasion of Australia.

He is also the last known veteran to have served in both world wars.

Claude has three children and 11 grandchildren. He is now a widower, following the death of his wife, Ethel, three years ago. They had been married for 80 years.

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