I posted the following in a LinkedIn group for Cornell University alumni, because it was rather striking to read, in the Military Records of Cornell University in the World War, the Class Index of who from what class was in the war. One doesn't think of 50 and 60-year-olds as war volunteers.
Classes of '80s and '90s; a hundred years ago you might have been in WWI!
Yes, the normal age for World War 1 soldiers was early twenties, if that, but not all were that young. The oldest Cornellian in World War 1 was Louis Livingston Seaman, class of 1872, so he was probably over 60 at the time. He was in the American Volunteer Ambulance Corps from 1914 to 1916, and was wounded at Verdun, but lived through the war.
There was one Cornellian each from the class of (18)73, '74, '75, '76, '78, '80, and '81. From the class of 1884 there were three, from the class of '86 there were five, including the oldest who died from the war (I think but I am not sure he was the one who committed suicide after realizing his orders were responsible for the spread of the flu pandemic in his camp).
From the class of '87 there were five, from '88 seven, from '89 four, from '90 twelve, from '91 ten, from '92 fourteen, from '93 twelve, and from 1894 on we are getting into more of the usual age of military officers, of 40 years old on down.
So, classes of the 1980s, do you feel up to volunteering for war? Your "centennial classmates" did.