Guinness World Records - Officially Amazing

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For the record

  • Who: William John Paxton

  • What: Oldest soldier to enlist in WWI

  • Where: United Kingdom

The oldest soldier to enlist in the Great War was William John Paxton (b. London, UK, 23 April 1846, d. London, UK, 29 April 1927), a bricklayer who enlisted with the London Regiment on 21 October 1914 at the age of 68 and was discharged on 19 July 1916 for health reasons.

Having declared on his application that he was 48 years old and that his next of kin was his brother, he in fact had four children and lived a few streets away from his wife. Having lied about his age, he would possibly have found it hard to explain how he managed to have four middle aged children.


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