Oldest serving Soldiers.

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by diggerdoug, Aug 29, 2013.

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  1. I found a couple of pages on these blokes who had very long careers and fought battles into their 80's and 90's.

    William Hiseland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    First battle- Battle of Edgehill on 23 October 1642
    Last battle- Battle of Malplaquet on 11 September 1709 aged 98!
    At the Battle of Malplaquet Hiseland served with the Royal Scots, and the regiment claimed the distinction of having both the oldest and the youngest men on the field, as a Private McBain carried his three-week-old baby son throughout the battle in a knapsack.

    Jean Thurel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Years of service- 17 September 1716 – 10 March 1807 (90 years, 6 months)
    Thurel was severely wounded in battle on two occasions. In 1733, during the siege of Kehl, he was shot in the chest with a musket. At the battle of Minden in 1759, he received seven sword slashes, including six to the head. When his regiment was ordered to march to the coast to embark on ships of the French Navy, he was given the opportunity to travel in a carriage due to his advanced age. The 88-year-old Thurel refused the offer and marched the entire distance on foot, stating that he had never before traveled by carriage and had no intention of doing so at that time.

    Does anyone know about other long serving and 90 year old soldiers in battle?
  2. Try asking a couple of the JNCO chefs at your local TA unit.
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  3. Do you reckon he got an RSM's pension?
  4. I'm guessing that made him rich.
  5. If he was a Fusilier for that long he must have fucked up his cadre quite a few times .
  6. Bet he ran an awesome bedding store though! 90 years of swamped foam to pass off on the sprogs.
  7. He got thrown off selection for the Old Guard after sparking out his DS.

    I'd bet this sort of thing was far more common previously than from the post-WW2 period onward. Apart from the lack of pensions acting as a disincentive to retiring, mass mobilisations would have taken anyone who was capable of doing something for the war effort rather than sticking to an arbitrary age limit.

    Wasn't Blucher in his 70s when trampled by French cavalry at Ligny?
  8. hotel_california

    hotel_california LE Book Reviewer

    Wasn't Blucher in his 70s when trampled by French cavalry at Ligny?

    He was 72, sir. His own horse was shot and it fell on him.
  9. There are loads of centenarian commanders and they're easy to find.
    List of centenarians (military commanders) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Blokes from the ranks are hard to find. When google I get results for last surviving soldiers who have been civilians since 1918.

    John Rae, I can remember reading a book on him that mention him in his 90's joining a militia/reserve/TA regiment. This might be wrong and the wikipedia page and others don't mention this. John Rae (explorer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  10. Tropper was at the Battle of Hastings and also on Pebble Island with the SAS.
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  11. Back in '88 at HQ 1(BR) Corps we had a guy in 14 Sqn RCT (my unit) who had stayed on after his national service. He was a Cpl and in his 50's. He'd turned down his Sgt many times apparently as he didn't want the carp that went with it.
    Barry W****n was his name and I think he got out around about 1990 after a Belize tour (where he used to jaunt off to every few years apparently).
    It seems strange that many of the older guys I served with back then had done Singapore, Malta and other exotic places no longer on the roll for postings. I envied them quite a bit for that I think.
  12. That old chestnut
    "Yeah, the CO wanted to promote me to Cpl but I didnt want the crap that went with it"
    "Yeah the CO insisted on promoting me to Sgt but I wanted to stay with the lads"
  13. As Field Marshals, like Admirals of the Fleet and Marshals of the RAF, don't retire, the longest serving British soldier at the moment is probably FM the Lord Bramall, who must have turned ninety by now.
  14. Met Lord B inb Colchester with 3RGJ when on a cadre. He was an impressive guy and had plenty to offer us potential Lance jacks.