Clifford Holliday, one of the last surviving Canadian veterans of World War I, died on May 4. Cause of death was not released. He was 105.
Holliday was only 16 when he enlisted in the Canadian Army. Serving as a private with the 43rd Battalion, Camrom Highlanders, he spent more than two years on the front lines, fighting in some of the fiercest battles of World War I. At Belgium’s Hill 60, only 127 men from his 1,100-member battalion survived. Holliday suffered two injuries during the war; he was shot through the calves in Belgium and suffered a shrapnel wound to his face in France.
Holliday studied as an electrician’s apprentice when he returned to Manitoba. He moved to California in 1922, became a U.S. citizen and pursued a career as an electrician in Hollywood. There he wired silent movie theaters for sound when the “talkies” arrived, and installed the first sound system at Columbia Studios.
After his retirement in 1970, Holliday developed an active interest in senior citizen causes. He served as state president of the Congress of California Seniors and was a board member of the National Council of Senior Citizens.
For his service in the military, Holliday received the Legion of Honor, France’s highest medal, and the Canadian McCrae Medallion. Only eight of the 650,000 Canadians who served in World War I remain.