Canadian soldier killed minutes before end of First World War remembered
Published Monday, July 14, 2014 6:43PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 4, 2014 8:33AM EDT
Nearly a century after his death, a Nova Scotia community is remembering George Price, the last Commonwealth soldier killed in the First World War moments before it ended.
Price, a 25-year-old Canadian private fighting for the British Commonwealth, was fatally shot by a German sniper in Belgium three minutes before the armistice ceasefire that ended the war went into effect on November 11, 1918.
Price and four other Canadian soldiers had been tracking a German machine gun team in the village of Ville-Sur-Haine, when a bullet struck him in the chest.
“The funny part about it was when they found out the war was over, they were all down in the village celebrating … it was later they found out that he was shot,” Price’s nephew, George Barkhouse, recalled in an interview with CTV Atlantic.
Although Barkhouse, now 84, was born long after his uncle’s death, he feels a strong connection to Price, thanks to stories his mother told him over the years.
Price was born in Falmouth, N.S., in 1892, but grew up in the fishing and farming community of Port Williams.
A cenotaph in Port Williams has been dedicated partly in honour of Price’s sacrifice.
Price was conscripted in 1917 while working as a farm hand in Saskatchewan and deployed to Europe.
Barkhouse has loaned his uncle’s personal items to the Prescott House museum in Port Williams, where they will remain on display until the end of September.
The village where Price died has not forgotten his sacrifice. A bridge in Ville-Sur-Haine has been named in his honour.
With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Jayson Baxter