LONDON, ONT. -- A final link to the Second World War for a storied London military regiment has died.

John Mills was the last living Ontario-based member of 1st Hussars to have served in the campaign.

He died last week at the age of 97.

Born in Windsor, Mills served from 1943-46. After the war, he settled in Point Edward and later in Sarnia.

“He was full of sincerity and honesty, a man of dignity,” states Nick Corrie, who’s written the online biographies of multiple 1st Hussars members, including Mills.

Corrie’s entry shows John Mills decided to join the army after hearing about the disastrous Dieppe raid in 1942, which saw 916 Canadians killed and thousands wounded.

He immediately signed up with the Essex Regiment and went overseas in 1943. He served in the supply lines with the rank of Trooper.

In March of 1945, he was rebadged a 1st Hussar and given a key role as the Jeep driver for the “B” squadron commander.

In 2015, CTV News featured Mills in a series looking back at the 70th Anniversary of VE Day. It was just before a trip he took overseas, at 92, to be part of an official ceremony.

VE Day

In the interview, he recalled the moment he heard the war would end on May 8, 1945. At the time he was stationed at a captured German Luftwaffe airbase.

“God it’s over! I don’t have to worry about the popping and banging of guns,” he recalled.

Corrie says Mills saw little to no combat action during the war, but he did see the aftermath of the battle.

Mills told CTV News he struggled with those memories until he opened up about them in later life.

“I know I can face some things now that took place.”

With Mills passing, Corrie says the 1st Hussars, and Southwestern Ontario, have lost a link to the past that “once had such a presence.”

Corrie says he grew up with Second World War veterans, “just about everywhere.” But now, “They’re all gone.”

Corrie says soldiers like Mills were a different breed, not likely to be seen again.

“They had tough, depression-era, upbringings. But they served in a time of war, and then came back home and took life by the horns.”