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Last tommy dies

(21 Posts)
poshwellies Sat 25-Jul-09 21:28:25

Sad but what a amazing life

JackBauer Sat 25-Jul-09 21:34:43

DH and I were talking about this earlier, when our DC's are our age WW1 will be in the distant past, like the American Civil War or the Boer war to us, how weird is that.
I had grandparents in WW2 and greatgrandparents siblings in WW1 but the next generation will have nothing like the link we had.
Very sad.

Meglet Sat 25-Jul-09 21:35:52

sad. Respect and thanks to all of them. I can't even think about what they went through without welling up.

Aren't they going to do a huge funeral for him as he was the last one? I have a feeling that was on the cards.

wrinklytum Sat 25-Jul-09 21:37:30

Very sad.

glasjam Sat 25-Jul-09 21:57:29

Well that's it - no more first-hand testimony for WW1. RIP Harry Patch. Isn't it amazing the longevity of these veterans particularly in the light of the thousands of lives cut down in their early teens on the killing fields of WW1. Testimony Films made some excellent documentaries in the late 90s featuring these old soldiers - I hope they get repeated soon - they are truly heartbreaking to watch but so important.

poshwellies Sat 25-Jul-09 22:02:54

There is already word of a huge funeral.

Dh was alerted that Mr Patch was very ill and that a huge funeral would be expected if Mr Patch passed away, this was few days ago (He organises road closures).

RIP Harry.sad

Alambil Sat 25-Jul-09 22:11:36

should be a day of national mourning - without them, who'd be here?

poshwellies Sat 25-Jul-09 22:20:34

Quite agree Lewis.

State funeral maybe.

southeastastra Sat 25-Jul-09 22:23:08

my dad and i were just reading about him. dad reckons he's due a state funeral too!

looked younger than he was didn't he

Yurtgirl Sat 25-Jul-09 22:26:01

RIP Harry

Nancy66 Sat 25-Jul-09 22:31:29

Just been watching him on telly - what an amazing man. Thought gordon brown paid him a very fitting tribute.

AtheneNoctua Sat 25-Jul-09 22:34:34

I met Harry Patch about 7 years ago. DH has WW1 website and we went to the nursing home and met hime. He was as sharp as a tack, but rather hard of hearing. I have ever since been amazed with his story. He was born during the reign of Queen Victoria. He remembers the introduction of not only the car, but the radio. He said the combustion engine the man's worst invention. He talked about events in the middle east as the makings of WW3. We took him to lunch and he ordered an ale. No prune juice for this man.

We love Harry in the AN house. 111... I can't even imagine.

bundle Sat 25-Jul-09 22:38:20

I was sobbing over this earlier

glasjam Sun 26-Jul-09 00:24:57

Right, it's late at night but I am am hoping that our genuine sorrow for the death of this old soldier isn't going to get mired or hijacked for any politcal end (ha!?) I have just watched Gordon Brown talking about an appropriate send-off for this old soldier and then Prince Charles is on my TV screen and the Queen has made a statement in the press - that's pretty impressive... and I can't help think of the word "orchestration".

He was 100 years old before he even spoke about his experiences....

kormachameleon Sun 26-Jul-09 00:48:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hambler Sun 26-Jul-09 01:00:24


dweezle Sun 26-Jul-09 02:09:44

I had two grandfathers and a grandmother who served in WW1. One grandfather never spoke about anything to do with the war. His family lived in poverty during the 1920's and 30's but just pulled their socks up got on with it. My Dad got up at 5am, with his brothers, to sell produce from their smallholding. My grandfather was a miner before the war, but after the war had no job to come back to. He virtually spent the rest of his life unemployed - at a time when the unemployed were looked on as being as the scum of the earth. They had no emotional backup. They had no counselling.

My maternal grandad spoke about his experiences but only to the extent that he looked after horses and cared about them on the front line. He was gassed and spent 6 months in St Dunstans because he was blinded. For the rest of his working life he suffered from emphesyma - not because he smoked, not because he was a miner, but because he was gassed. He had a lifelong love of horses. He worked on the Pit Head and looked after his family as best he could. When his chest played him up some years later and he ended up in hospital my grandma went to the british legion for help and they turned her down. So I don't do the poppy thing.

My grandma altered the date on her birth certificate from 1900 to 1896 so she could join up. She spent a couple of years baking bread 5 miles behind the front lines. My grandma was a feminist before there was such a thing.

War stinks. It solves nothing - it never has done and it never will.

dweezle Sun 26-Jul-09 02:14:18

And, Mr Patch, who spent the last few years of his life speaking of the sacrifices on BOTH SIDES, understood the utter futility of war.

Jaw jaw

SoupDragon Sun 26-Jul-09 09:09:20

"He was 100 years old before he even spoke about his experiences" And who can blame him? his experiences were horrific.

The last of a huge number who sacrificed such a lot for us and the future. RIP

"War stinks. It solves nothing - it never has done and it never will"

I don't know much about it, but where would we be now if WW2 hadn't been fought? I agree that war stinks, but I do think sometimes it is necessary.

ADealingMummy Sun 26-Jul-09 19:26:07

I read his brilliant book , '' the last fighting tommy''.

Thankyou Harry Patch RIP.

moondog Sun 26-Jul-09 19:32:56

Ah, is that so? sad
I'veheard talk of a state funeral. They promised it to last one in France.

My friend interviewed him for Telegraph last year.
How amazing that you met him AN.

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