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One of Canada's last remaining First World War veterans has died, only days before Canadians pause to remember the sacrifices of Canada's soldiers.

Harold Radford, the last known Nova-Scotia-born veteran of that war, died yesterday in a Halifax hospital.

He was 106.

Mr. Radford was a lifelong resident of the Halifax area and was in excellent health until last month, when he had a bad fall at the Camp Hill Veterans' Memorial Building, his home for the past six years, and caught pneumonia.

The baseball-loving veteran was profiled last November in a special Globe and Mail Remembrance Day series about the last 16 known Canadian veterans of the Great War. Since the series ran, five others have died.

In 1918-19, Mr. Radford took part in a little-known Canadian peacekeeping campaign in Siberia, serving with the Nova Scotia Regiment in Vladivostok.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail last year, his son James, of Dartmouth, N.S., recalled how his father very nearly ended up in France after enlisting in 1918.

But he was also his regiment's best baseball player, and his commanding officer needed him for a big game in Canada. So Mr. Radford's records were "misplaced," and "he couldn't be shipped out," James said. "The captain told him: 'For some reason we can't find your records, Harold. Meanwhile, we'd like to win a few ball games.' " Making his way to Vladivostok was an arduous trip. He rode the train to Victoria, then boarded a broken-down ship for Russia.

The sea trip took 21 days and took him to a desolate city of about 40,000 where he spent the fall and winter, working as the company clerk. He amused himself by collecting photographs and skating.

About 4,000 Canadian troops went to Russia under Major-General J.H. Elmsley. Their presence was as much for economic reasons as for military purposes; the Royal Bank of Canada had established a branch in Vladivostok in March, 1919. Historians regard the intervention as one of Canada's first tentative foreign policy efforts.

When the mission ended in 1919, Mr. Radford returned to Halifax and his old job at a local hardware company. Because of his proximity to the great explosion of Dec. 6, 1917, he had seen more violence on the Halifax waterfront than he ever saw in the military.

In 1999, Mr. Radford and fellow veterans Alice Strike, 107, Lawrence Arthur Walsh and Alice Margaret MacKinnon were presented with the John McCrae Medallion, named for the poet who wrote In Flanders Fields, for their war service.

A widower, he leaves three children, seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.