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Gladys Powers

Gladys Powers
Born 10 May 1899
Lewisham, United Kingdom
Died 15 August 2008 (aged 109)
Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Women's Army Auxiliary Corps
Women's Royal Air Force
Years of service 1915–1920
Battles/wars World War I

Gladys Stokes Luxford Powers (10 May 1899 – 15 August 2008[1][2]) was thought to be, at age 109, the last female veteran of the First World War following the 27 March 2007 death of fellow 109-year-old Charlotte Winters from the US. However the subsequent discovery of fellow Britons Ivy Campany, who died on 19 December 2008, and Florence Green has disproved this.[3] Regardless, Powers was the last veteran living in Canada, following the death of Dwight Wilson on 9 May 2007, the day before Powers' 108th birthday. The last Canadian-born veteran, 109-year-old John Babcock, later moved to the United States where he lived until his death on 18 February 2010.

Powers was born in Lewisham, County of London, the daughter of Frederick Charles Stokes. During her childhood she lived in both Turkey and Australia. In 1915, she volunteered as a barracks waitress for the WAAC despite the minimum age being 17. Later she transferred to the WRAF. In 1920, she married Edward Luxford, a Canadian soldier, whom she had met while visiting her older brother, Cyril, in hospital, where the latter was recovering from shell shock incurred during the war.

The Luxfords moved to Calgary that year, and walked almost 1000 kilometres along the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks to British Columbia in 1925. They later divorced and Powers remarried and was widowed twice, before meeting and marrying Andrew Powers in 1973, whom she also outlived. She lived in Abbotsford from 1992 until her death in 2008.[4]

It is locally said that Cyril Street and Gladys Avenue in Abbotsford are named after the siblings.

See also

References

  1. ^ The Boston Globe: Canada Mourns the Passing of World War I Veteran Gladys Powers
  2. ^ Gladys Powers' obituary at Canada.com
  3. ^ Ivy Campany's obituary
  4. ^ 3 centuries, 4 husbands, 109 years
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