War veteran honoured by town

By Nigel Slater Friday 18 April 2014 Updated: 22/04 13:49

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Buy photos » Claude Choules will have a street named after him in his home-town Pershore.

A NEW housing development in Pershore is to pay tribute to the last known combat veteran of the First World War who was born in the town.

Claude Choules, who was born in Pershore in 1901 and grew up in nearby Wyre Piddle, will have a street named after him at the new estate located at Allesborough Farm.

Town councillors confirmed the honour at a meeting last Thursday (April 10) and decided to name one of the roads of the Redrow Homes site 'Claude Choules Close' as a tribute to the man who died in 2011 at the age of 110 years old.

At the age of just 14 Mr Choules lied about his age to join the Royal Navy and after training he joined the battleship HMS Revenge in 1917 - the flagship of the First Battle Squadron.

He witnessed two historic events at the end of the Great War - the surrender of the German Imperial Navy at the Firth of Forth

in 1918, ten days after the Armistice, along with the scuttling of the German fleet in Scapa Flow.

In 1926 Mr Choules travelled to Australia - a country where he would remain for the rest of his life - on loan as an instructor to the Royal Australian Navy as an instructor at Flinders Naval Depot.

During the Second World War Mr Choules, known as 'Chuckles' by comrades, was the acting torpedo officer of HMAS Fremantle and the chief demolition officer on the western side of Australia where he was given the role of sabotaging

Fremantle harbours and oil storage tanks in the event of a Japanese invasion.

Following the meeting last Thursday, Coun Val Wood, who proposed the suggestion of naming the street after Choules, told the Observer she was delighted his legacy would be remembered in such a way.

"Claude Choules was a local man and came to prominence when he was the last surviving British First World War veteran," she said.

"I met Claude in Australia and his daughter showed me an old census form which showed he lived a few doors away from me on Bridge Street.

"It is really nice to see someone from the town who fought for his country to be remembered in this way."

And in a further touching tribute, Pershore town councillors also chose to pay tribute to former councillor Dave Shaw by

naming a street 'Shaw Close' on a new development at Farleigh Road.

Mr Shaw, who passed away last year, had Pershore at his heart and was one of the founder members of the town’s famous Plum Festival.

The soon to be named 'Shaw Close' is just around the corner from his Coun Shaw's former home.

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Buy photos» Former Pershore town councillor David Shaw, who died last year, is also to have a new street named after him. Photo by Marcus Mingins 2112018MMR

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