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Elderly men who fought like young warriors during times of war

Ian Harvey

There’s an old saying that wars are by design; the sacrifice of a younger man’s life in exchange for the accomplishment of an elder man’s dreams.

War is said to be a true battleground that uses a combination of mental, physical, and emotional skills where any mistake could end the warriors’ life. This means that youth thrives in the wars that the old kings and politicians start.

Every once in a blue moon, an elder soldier walks on to the battlefield and strikes fear in the heart of all who oppose his kingdom. On days of the great emergency, these are the elder men that displayed legendary character and skill.

7 Henry Webber And Caspar Rene Gregory

 Caspar René Gregory
Caspar René Gregory

As the first World War hit full swing, a man name Henry Webber had all three of his sons enlist to fight for England during the war. The senior was moved by his sons’ efforts to protect their homes, so he chose to fight with his children in battle. But to his distress, he was told he could not fight because he was over the maximum age. The second time the gentleman enlisted, he had a plan. He recruited an entire cavalry unit and offered them as payment to enter the war but was still refused by the military to fight in the war. Finally, after the man again persisted, he was allowed to join his sons in battle.

The soldiers were at first hesitant to accept Webber for his age, but the commanding officer of his unit was the son of one of Webber’s favorite rowing partners. The 7th South Lancashire had a large role during the seizure of the town La Boiselle in the year of 1916. Sadly, the men were hit with artillery after they captured the French town. All of Webber’s sons survived the war, and they were devastated when they found out their father had passed away on his journey to fight for his country alongside his patriotic sons.

Caspar Rene Gregory was an elderly man loved and praised by his hometown. The man was known as a brilliant philosopher and teacher. He was renowned across Leipzig due to his translations of the New Testament. The gentleman had a collection of published books that were deemed as its own fluent theological class.

By the time the war was waged, the man was almost considered ancient in terms of battle. He was 68 and lasted two years in the war until he was knocked off his horse in battle. The man was loved by his fellow soldiers, and he even won a Lille badge as well as Ypres. While recovering from his battle wound, the hospital he was in was hit with artillery, and he quickly died as a consequence; another soldier had fallen in the war.

6 Huang Zhong And Yan Yan

 Huang Zhong
Huang Zhong

It has never been proven that the two mighty warriors by the names of Huang Zhong and, his partner in crime Yan Yan, were elderly men.

But in the classic novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, there was a vivid depiction of the warriors being far too old to be fighting. The two men were well known from the battlefield while they fought for loyalties of the mighty Han dynasty.  Huang became an elderly leader of war due to his grossly overstated accomplishments. He was even said to have been able to shoot a famous three hundred pound bow. Another story recounts him battling the God of War to a draw for days before. It was only because of a tactical maneuver that Huang surrendered. Then a little while after, the “mighty” warrior led his troops into battle against a feared commander. When all hope seemed to be lost, Haung mounted his horse and caught his opponent general off guard with a blow to the face!

While the mighty feats of Haung were thought to be unmatched on the Chinese battlefield, there was another elder that stood up to him and his name was Yan Yan. Folklore has brought the pair of warriors to immortality through the years of recounting the tales of the mighty men.

5 Walter Cowan

 Walter Henry Cowan
Walter Henry Cowan

Walter Cowan kicked off his career as a cadet while serving in England’s navy in 1884. He was in charge of a good number of ships and served in three major wars throughout his career. When WWII came, Cowan was already a seasoned veteran at overseeing valuable warships for the Royal Navy. Cowan had hung up the captain’s hat and was living in paradise as he was planning out his retirement, but the first World War led him to pick his uniform back up and to fight for his country.

Once he was ready to serve, he harassed his former colleagues until they got so fed up with his bickering that they let him back into war. So the seasoned veteran became an instructor for maneuvering of small British boats, but only after a year passed the fearless man found himself in battle and, rumor has it, he became a legend. The man was over the age of 70, but it is said that he personally fought off an entire Italian tank with nothing more than a handgun.

Finally, his military journey was brought to an end in 1943, but he was not content with the momentum of the war, so he jumped right back into action and crossed into Italy to join his brothers in action for two more years, earning himself the right to become an honorary colonel.

4 Jean Thurel

Jean Thurel (1699-1807)
Jean Thurel (1699-1807)

It has been documented that the man lived for a century. Jean Thural was born before the turn of the 18th century and lived to see three different centuries in a time that such a feat was rare. The even more shocking fact is being brought to light that the man served over nine decades as a soldier for France.

As a soldier of 90 years, the man saw quite a few battles and wore every wound proudly for his fellow soldiers to see. In one battle, he was even hit just below the chin and barely survived.

In another battle he took a saber slash to the face, making him look like the most fearsome warrior imaginable. To look at him, he seemed like a zombie – a truly unbeatable symbol to strike fear into the opponents hearts while they marched into battle.

During the era he served his country, he was only disciplined one time for scaling a fortress simply so he would not miss the battle. When Mr. Jean was in his late 80s, he was sent off to serve in France’s battleships.

Because of his long service, he was offered a VIP ride by carriage but refused the offer because he believed in the unity of his unit. He was never offered this treatment before so why should age be the determining factor now? So the old man marched to the coast like a champion and stayed true to his morals as a soldier.

By the time of his death, Thurel was known across the continent as the oldest soldier and served under a lot of rulers. He was even blessed to fight for Napoleon and was rewarded by the famous ruler with a highly prominent medal and a thousand-frank pension for his accomplishments on the battlefield. Not too shabby for an old warrior.

3 Kas-Tziden Nana

 Kas-Tziden Nana
Kas-Tziden Nana

Another warrior that cracked the list was a crippled 80-year old Apache war leader. The man’s name actually meant broken foot, but that did not stop him on the battlefield. The man was born during the early 1800s and quickly became the proud husband of the sister of a famous warrior in his tribe.

They started an amazing family of 5 girls. Every one of these daughters grew up to marry legendary warriors or prominent chiefs along their lands. This was thought to have been a direct result of Broken Foot’s ability to create peace among the different Apache warriors.

The man was even a major factor in the conquering of over a thousand miles of enemy land throughout the mountains in the Mexican plains and broke into the southern border of the United States.

Throughout the journey, his warriors battled Mexican and American forces, ending dozens of soldiers lives and capturing hundreds of warrior-trained horses and a huge amount of livestock to help them span the warrior’s journey. He ventured back home completely untouched.

Even though he battled against the decimation of his tribe ever since he was captured and lived out the rest of his life in peace. His days as a warrior were over, so he lived out his last days in Oklahoma.

2 Marcus Valerius Corvus

Triumph of Marco Valerio Corvo
Triumph of Marco Valerio Corvo

Marcus Valerius was born in the fourth century BC and generated a glorious life as both a commander of Rome and a very successful politician. During his span serving his country, he became a legend among the Roman Empire.

The legend takes place when the man was serving Rome as the civilization fought against a large army of Gaul. The man faced off against the largest warrior on the battlefield.

The giant warrior was creating havoc along the battlefield so Marcus bravely choose to battle the feared giant man. Recounts of the battle say that the men fought for what seemed like ages on the battlefield, but they were in a stalemate.

Out of nowhere, a large raven came to Marcus’s aid and landed on his helmet. The raven then began picking at the Gaul’s face allowing Marcus the opportunity to defeat the mighty foe. He was given a nickname, making him Marcus Valerius Corvus (raven).

After Mr. Valerius had helped his country win the Battle, he went on to become a commander for Rome and then went on to get a taste for politics until the man was a senior statesman. But when Rome fell into challenging times, Marcus was given charge of handling a revolt that stirred up from the mighty Marsi tribe.

Valerius handled the revolt with ease and captured the violent towns, stopping the rebels dead in their tracks.

Given his ability to eliminate rebellions, he also was given charge of handling the Etruscans, who were becoming rowdy in the area. After Valerius arrived and crushed the dreams of free culture, the rebellion ended.

The fighters wanted nothing to do with the famous commander so every time they fell into the mighty leader’s path, they instantly surrendered.

But the battlefield wasn’t the only place the man made an impact. The politician passed a crucial legislation for the rights of the everyday residents of Rome, leaving him beloved by the empire as a man who allowed the progress of fair trial for the common people. The kind warrior lived to be a century old.

1 Samuel Whittemore

amuel Whittemore Monument located in Arlington, Massachusetts
Samuel Whittemore Monument located in Arlington, Massachusetts

The last of the senior citizens that battled like war heroes goes to a gentleman by the name of Samuel Whittemore. He grew up in England and worked hard to become a commander for His Majesty’s Dragoons. His journey led him to fight France in multiple encounters, and he even fought throughout the Indian Wars.

After a life of battle, he retired and made his way to America and fell in love with his country. The senior would give anything to free the colonies from suppression when the Revolutionary War broke out.

During an April day, England’s troops were beginning to get together in Boston after a few battles in the cities of Concord and Lexington. The men were met by 50 American sympathizers. As Whittemore caught wind of the fight that ensued, the peaceful farmer that roamed the earth for eight decades jumped into the mix to protect the ideals, the colonies stood for.

The old veteran set up his musket and loaded up duel pistols to show the young British what they were truly up against while they were in America.

When Samuel opened the front door, the English forces were marching along the street right in front of him! He was in the perfect spot to strike fear in the heart of the British.

The elderly man opened fire and had little time to reload; so he pulled out his saber, killing anyone who tried to get close enough to kill the mighty farmer. Sadly, a British soldier shot him straight in the face then others stabbed him multiple times to ensure the old man got what he had coming and then left him for dead.

When his townsmen and family ran to hug their dead vigilante, they actually stumbled upon the man with a dozen stab wounds and a bullet to the face, reloading his gun!

The town forced Samuel out of action and quickly addressed his wounds. The beloved farmer lived another two decades, but now his impact for taking action was much bigger. As news spread like wildfire across the colony, he sparked many to stand up and fight for American independence and was later declared the State Hero of Massachusetts.

Like wacko war stories? Here is another from us: In WWI, a British prisoner of war was released from German prison camp to see his dying mother on the promise that he would return, and he did

While the battlefield is ruled by young and lively men, these seven men proved that there is no substitution for experience. These men had their daring feats spread through the history books and folklore, proving that you are truly never too old to do the things that matter most!

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News