Pvt. George Price was only moments from discovering he would be returning home from war when he was shot and killed two minutes before the armistice ending the First World War took effect.
At 10:58 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918, Price and other soldiers of the 28th Battalion of the Saskatchewan North Regiment were searching for Germans in the village of Ville-Su-Haine, Belgium, now Le Rouelx, when Price was shot by a sniper as they emerged from a home.
Now, 100 years after his death, the town where he died is honouring his memory by erecting a sculpture near the location where he was shot.
“First we will remember the memory of soldier Price, for what he did for our liberation,” Le Rouelx mayor Benoit Friart said. “Through soldier Price, we want to remember all the soldiers from Canada, from the Commonwealth, for what they do recovering our liberty and freedom at the end of the First World War.”
Price was originally from Falmouth, N.S., but was working as a labourer in Moose Jaw when he was conscripted on Oct. 15, 1917.
He is interred in a cemetery in Belgium.
A plaque was originally placed on the house Price died in front of in 1968, then moved to the base of a new foot bridge a few years later.
Price became the last of millions of soldiers to die from the British Empire, including 67,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders.
“He became so famous because he’s the last one,” Friart said.
“If he was shot down two days before the armistice, he probably wouldn’t be so important, but the fact is, the last one can represent all the soldiers killed in the First World War.”
Price is interred in a cemetery in Belgium and was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The 8-metre sculpture will be situated in a garden next to the memorial plaque.
– With files from Lee Berthiuame and Keith Doucette of The Canadian Press.