Percy Dwight Wilson, who was Canada's second-last surviving veteran of the First World War, died in Toronto on Wednesday at the age of 106.
Wilson was just 15 when he lied about his age and headed overseas with a Toronto battery in 1916, despite his parents' objections. When he arrived in England, his age was discovered and he was sent back to Canada without ever having fought.
His son, Paul Wilson, said his father knew the risks involved but was desperate to serve his country.
"I think maybe in 1914, when the war broke out, some of the young boys signing up thought it would be a lark," Paul Wilson said. "By 1916, there had been thousands upon thousands of them just killed. They had some horrendous battles."
When Wilson got back to Canada, the teenager re-enlisted, but was discharged again because of his age. The second time, he was let go before he even left for Europe.
At the start of the Second World War, Wilson again tried to re-enlist but was told he was too old. more