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Posted on Thursday 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.

Read Harry Patch's story as part of Warfare's article, Britain's Last Tommies at Passchendaele.

Britain's Last Tommies is available for the special price of only £5 (RRP £19.99) from Pen and Sword Books as today's Deal of the Day offer.

Further Reading

Britain's Last Tommies

Only £19.99

Britain's Last Tommies

(Hardback)
by Richard Van Emden

On the centenary of the Great War, there are now no longer any veterans alive of the six million men who served on the Western Front. Although this means that the Great War as a living history is to all intents and purposes over, the twenty years Richard van Emden spent interviewing and carefully recording the memories of over 270 veterans, makes this extraordinary collection of stories even more poignant.

As… Read more...


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