William "Duke" Procter

    • William "Duke" Procter
    • Canadian Engineer Badge worn in WWI

    One of Canada's last veterans of the First World War, William 'Duke' Procter, died peacefully at the Oakside Manor residential care facility in Enderby, B.C. on 14 December 2005 at the age of 106.

    Duke Procter was born on his father's homestead at Mable Lake, British Columbia on August 18, 1899. As a young child, he attended school but also learned the trade of logging, which would become useful during his stint in the Army. Duke joined the Army in March 1916 and, after completing his basic training, was sent to England later that same year. Too young for active duty in the battlefields of France, he was assigned to the Canadian Forestry Corps and worked in a bush camp in Scotland. For the remainder of the war, he cut timbers as "pit-props" for the trenches and tunnels at the Front.

    Duke returned home to Mable Lake in 1919 and resumed the trade of logging and driving horses. Procter was remembered as a man who was full of life: he went skydiving when he turned 100 and was still driving his car until the age 102.

    A funeral service will be held for William Procter on 19 December at St. John's Lutheran Church in Vernon.