William Stone was laid to rest in Oxfordshire, England, Thursday watched by hundreds of people who gathered to salute the last veteran to have fought for Britain in both world wars.
The Royal Navy serviceman was one of four veterans from the First World War who lived long enough to see last year’s 90th anniversary of the 1918 armistice.
Stone, who was born on September 23, 1900, laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in November. Inside St. Leonard’s Church in Watlington, Michael Davidson recalled his father-in-law’s pride at being involved in the event. “He was honored to take part in the 90th anniversary,” he said during the eulogy. “What a fitting finale to his life.”
Davidson said that as the century progressed and the band of Great War veterans dwindled ever further, Stone grew to enjoy his new status as a celebrated figure. He attended innumerable functions, including events at Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Palace and Downing Street.
“It only needed a journalist’s pen to appear or a TV camera to be pointed — they didn’t even need to ask a question — and he was off. He could recount a version of his life story in 90 seconds," Davidson said.
Stone's coffin was carried into the church, draped in the Union flag, by six Royal Navy personnel.