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Britain's last surviving WW1 veteran dies


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caskur™
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« on: July 26, 2009, 03:20:05 am »
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Britain's last surviving WW1 veteran dies

REUTERS | 10:59AM - Sunday, 26 July 2009

VETERAN: First World War veteran Harry Patch poses for photographers before taking part in the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day in central London in this November 11, 2008 file photo. Patch, the last surviving British veteran of World War One, passed away at the age of 111. — REUTERS PHOTOGRAPH.

VETERAN: First World War veteran Harry Patch poses for
photographers before taking part in the 90th anniversary
of Armistice Day in central London in this November 11,
2008 file photo. Patch, the last surviving British veteran
of World War One, passed away at the age of 111.
 — REUTERS PHOTOGRAPH.


Britain's last surviving veteran of the World War 1 trenches, Harry Patch, has died at the age of 111, the UK’s Ministry of Defence has said.

Patch, described by his biographer as having a good sense of humour and a "twinkle in his eye", died in a residential home in Somerset, western England.

His passing comes a week after the death of another of the few remaining survivors of the conflict, and the world's oldest man, Henry Allingham, who died aged 113.

The sole British-born survivor of the four year conflict is now seaman Claude Choules, who lives in Australia.

Patch, a former plumber, was conscripted as an 18-year-old, and served in the trenches of Ypres on the Western Front, where he was injured and saw three of his closest friends killed in the battle of Passchendaele.

Prince Charles, who is also the Duke of Cornwall, paid tribute to Patch who served with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.

"Harry always cherished the extraordinary camaraderie that the appalling conditions engendered in the battalion and remained loyal to the end," he told BBC television.

Patch, who served as a machine-gunner for four months in the summer of 1917, did not speak about his war experiences until he turned 100, and in his later years he promoted peace and reconciliation.

"War isn't worth one life," he would say.

His biographer Richard van Emdem said Patch recognised he was a symbol of his generation.

"He was very aware of the fact that he was the very last veteran to have served in the trenches, and I think there was a certain pride in that," he said.

"But he realised. . .that after him it would be a gone history. There would be nobody else to talk to and so he felt very strongly that he should remember the dead, that he should remember those who suffered on both sides of the line."

In a statement, Prime Minister Gordon Brown paid tribute to Patch, saying that "the noblest of all the generations has left us, but they will never be forgotten."

General Sir Richard Dannatt, chief of the General Staff, said Patch had been able to relate the horrors of war to a new generation.

"Self-effacing about his experiences in the trenches he was no less effective in describing the horror they represented when invited to speak to school children about the realities of war.

Patch married Ada, the young girl he had met while convalescing after Passchendaele. After her death in 1976 he remarried, outliving his second wife. His two sons from his first marriage predeceased him.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/2674870/Britains-last-surviving-WW1-veteran-dies
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2009, 05:07:13 am »
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Here he is.....one left in my city....108 yrs old..

Britain's last WWI vet living in Perth retirement home

http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,25837281-2761,00.html




A FORMER Royal Australian Navy sailor and World War II veteran living in Perth, aged 108, is now Britain's last surviving World War I veteran.

Harry Patch, Britain's last soldier to fight in the trenches of Europe during World War I, died yesterday, aged 111.

Perth man Claude Choules is now Britain's last remaining World War I veteran.

Born in Pershore, England in March 1901, Mr Choules served with the Royal Navy after joining the HMS Impregnable at 15, in 1916.

He joined the battleship HMS Revenge in 1917 and witnessed the surrender of the German Fleet at Firth of Forth, near Scotland, in 1918.

The German surrender came 10 days after the armistice and the Germans later scuttled its own fleet at Scapa Flow near the Orkney Islands.

Mr Choules travelled to Australia with the Royal Navy in 1926 to work as an instructor at Flinders Naval Depot before transferring to the Royal Australian Navy.

He was a commissioning crew member of the HMAS Canberra and served in her until 1931, when he discharged from the RAN before rejoining as a torpedo and anti-submarine instructor in 1932.

As the acting torpedo officer at Fremantle in World War I,I Mr Choules disposed of the first German mine to wash up on Australian soil, near Esperance, during the war.

He was also tasked with destroying harbour and oil storage tanks at the Fremantle port in case of a Japanese invasion.

Mr Choules remained in the RAN after WWII, spending his final working years at the Naval Dockyard Police before joining the crayfishing industry, in Safety Bay.

He now lives in a Perth retirement village.

Mr Choules is one of three remaining WWI veterans in the world.

American Frank Buckles, 108, and Canadian John Babcock, 109 - who both live in the United States - are alive, but neither saw active combat, according to news sources.
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2009, 06:35:24 am »
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damnn, they live LONG lives.
They must have treated their
parents well.

 
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