George Lawrence Price
Private George Lawrence Price (Regimental Number: 256265) (December 15, 1892 – November 11, 1918) was a Canadian  soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

. He is traditionally recognized as the last soldier of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 to be killed during the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...


Early life

He was born in Falmouth
Falmouth, Nova Scotia
Falmouth, Nova Scotia is a village located along the Avon River in Hants County between Mount Denson and Windsor.Falmouth and area was known as Pisiguit by the Acadians. Having migrated from Port Royal, Nova Scotia, the Acadians were the first to settle in the area, around 1685...

, Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, on December 15, 1892, and raised on Church Street, in what is now Port Williams, Nova Scotia
Port Williams, Nova Scotia
Port Williams is a Canadian village in Kings County, Nova Scotia.It is located on the north bank of the Cornwallis River, opposite Greenwich and Wolfville.As of 2006, the population was 1,079...

. He lived in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Moose Jaw is a city in south-central Saskatchewan, Canada on the Moose Jaw River. It is situated on the Trans-Canada Highway, west of Regina. Residents of Moose Jaw are known as Moose Javians. It is best known as a retirement and tourist city that serves as a hub to the hundreds of small towns...

, when he was conscripted
Conscription Crisis of 1917
The Conscription Crisis of 1917 was a political and military crisis in Canada during World War I.-Background:...

 on October 15, 1917. He served with "A" Company of the 28th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force
Canadian Expeditionary Force
The Canadian Expeditionary Force was the designation of the field force created by Canada for service overseas in the First World War. Units of the C.E.F. were divided into field formation in France, where they were organized first into separate divisions and later joined together into a single...


November 11, 1918

On November 11, Pte Price was part of an advance to take the small village of Havré
Havré is a village near the Belgian town of Mons in the province of Hainaut.- Gallery :...

. After a crossing of the Canal du Centre
Canal du Centre (Belgium)
The Canal du Centre is a canal in Belgium, which, with other canals, links the waterways of the Meuse and Scheldt rivers. It has a total length of 20.9 km. It connects the artificial lake Grand Large near Nimy, with the Brussels-Charleroi Canal near Seneffe....

 into the town of Ville-sur-Haine
Ville-sur-Haine is a village near the Belgian town of Le Rœulx in the province of Hainaut.It is where Canadian private George Lawrence Price, known as the last soldier of the British Empire to be killed in the First World War, died just two minutes before the armistice went into effect....

 under German machine gun fire, Price and his patrol moved toward a row of houses intent on pursuing the machine gunner who had harassed their crossing of the canal. The patrol had entered the house from which they had thought the shooting had come, but found the Germans had exited through the back door as they entered the front. They then pursued into the house next door and again found it empty. George Price was fatally shot in the region of his heart by a German sniper
A sniper is a marksman who shoots targets from concealed positions or distances exceeding the capabilities of regular personnel. Snipers typically have specialized training and distinct high-precision rifles....

 as he stepped out of the house into the street, against contrary advice from a house occupant, at 10:58 a.m., November 11, 1918. He died just 2 minutes before the armistice
An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

 ceasefire, that ended the war, came into effect at 11 a.m.


Price is buried in the St Symphorien military cemetery
St Symphorien Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery
The St Symphorien military cemetery is a First World War burial ground 2 km east of Mons in the Belgian province of Hainaut. It was created and maintained by the German army from August 1914 until November 1918, when it passed into Allied hands, and it contains the graves of 229 Commonwealth...

, just southeast of Mons
Mons is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut, of which it is the capital. The Mons municipality includes the old communes of Cuesmes, Flénu, Ghlin, Hyon, Nimy, Obourg, Baudour , Jemappes, Ciply, Harmignies, Harveng, Havré, Maisières, Mesvin, Nouvelles,...

. Coincidentally, this is also the final resting place of John Parr and George Edwin Ellison
George Edwin Ellison
George Edwin Ellison was the last British soldier to be killed in the First World War.Ellison came from Leeds, England, and was serving with the 5th Royal Irish Lancers. He had previously worked as a coal miner, but was already serving in the army at the start of the war. He fought at the Battle...

, respectively the first and last British soldiers killed during the Great War.

In 1968, on the 50th anniversary of his death and the armistice surviving members of his company traveled to Ville-sur-Haine and a memorial plaque
Memorial Plaque
The Memorial Plaque was issued after the First World War to the next-of-kin of all British and Empire service personnel who were killed as a result of the war....

 was placed onto a wall of a house near the location of his death. The inscription, in English and then in French, reads in English:
The house has since been torn down, but the plaque has been placed on a brick and stone monument near the site where the house originally stood, and thus still near the place where he fell.

In 1991, the town of Ville-sur-Haine
Ville-sur-Haine is a village near the Belgian town of Le Rœulx in the province of Hainaut.It is where Canadian private George Lawrence Price, known as the last soldier of the British Empire to be killed in the First World War, died just two minutes before the armistice went into effect....

 erected a new footbridge across the adjacent canal. A plebiscite was held and on 11 November the bridge was officially named the George Price Footbridge (Passerelle George Price).

See also

  • Augustin Trébuchon
    Augustin Trébuchon
    Augustin-Joseph Victorin Trébuchon was the last French soldier killed during World War I. He was shot 15 minutes before the Armistice came into effect, at 10.45am on 11 November 1918...

    , last French soldier killed in World War I, 10:45 a.m. November 11, 1918

External links

.... Contains eyewitness account of Price's death.
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