By Andrew Bushe
DUBLIN — The only surviving World War I veteran in Ireland, who celebrated his 100th birthday on Jan. 30, has been presented with a £2,000 special millennium year centenarian bonus from President Mary McAleese.
It was the second special birthday in a row as last year Albert Coss, who was born in Leeds, was presented with the Legion d’Honneur by French ambassador Henri de Coignac.
He joined the Royal Field Artillery when he was 15 and spent his 16th birthday in the trenches in France.
When his age was discovered he was sent home. He rejoined the British army on his 17th birthday and served in France and Belgium with the Royal Artillery.
A former tailor, he moved to Belfast after the war where he met his wife, Millie, whom he married 67 years ago.
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Coss also served as a sergeant-major in the Belfast Home Guard in World War II and the couple’s home was leveled in a German bombing raid.
They moved to Dublin in 1955 and went to live in the Denmark Hall Jewish Home several years ago.