Warfare in News

Posted on Wednesday 25th July

On 25 July 2009, Britain's last Tommy, Harry Patch, passed away aged 111.

Henry 'Harry' John Patch was born on 17 June 1898 in a small village near Bath and worked as an apprentice plumber after leaving school at 15, before being conscripted into the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry at the age of 18.

Harry arrived on the Western Front in the summer of 1917 and went over the top at the Passchendaele offensive, during which he was badly injured and spent the rest of the war in hospital or convalescing.

Harry chose not to speak about his war experiences until he agreed to a television interview in 1998 at the age of 100, and collaborated with Richard Van Emden on his first book, The Last Fighting Tommy, becoming the UK's oldest author.

In 2005, Harry was featured in Richard Van Emden's Britain's Last Tommies - the culmination of 20 years' work interviewing the Great War's last surviving veterans.

Further Reading

Author signed copies of Britain's Last Tommies

Only £19.99

Author signed copies of Britain's Last Tommies

by Richard van Emden

The First World War as a living history is to all intents and purposes over. As of today February 2009, there are only two veterans from six million alive who served on the Western Front. Richard has spent the last 20 years interviewing and carefully recording the memories of over 270 veterans and this book is a culmination of his 20 years of work. The book will be an extraordinary collection of stories told by… Read more...

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