A lone survivor: Hazelton World War ll veteran is the last of his kind

A man sits on a step dressed in a Navy uniform
Lawrence Allen Kerr is a 97-year-old World War II veteran who lives in Hazelton, BC. Photo courtesy of Mr. Kerr.
Pamela Haasen - CICK - SmithersBC | 09-11-2022
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At 97, Lawrence Allen Kerr may be one of the last veterans of the Second World War living in northern BC. 

Kerr was 16 when he left Climax, Saskatchewan to train in the Canadian Army in Regina. From there, he went by train to Cornwallis, Nova Scotia to join the navy, where he met his wife Pearl.

It was his first time seeing “big water” because he said “there was no water where I was from,” and then he spent his time in the navy guarding merchant ships as a gunner during the war. 

He spent the next four years overseas mainly on the North Atlantic then began his life with his wife in British Columbia.

And at 97, Kerr remains spritely: he continues to drive, hunt, fish and “even has a treadmill in his living room.” 

In 2020, he was the last surviving World War ll veteran marching in the Smithers Remembrance Day ceremony, and will be the only World War ll vet marching this year in Hazelton.

In 2020, the CBC wrote an article claiming that there were under 40,000 World War ll veterans alive in Canada, and to put it into perspective, over 1 million Canadians fought in World War II.

Kerr shared his memories from war time with CICK News producer Pam Haasen in an interview for CICK News’ Remembrance Day episode.

Listen to that full interview in the link below: