Saturday, July 25, 2009

Harry Patch, the last British army veteran of World War I, has died at 111

Britain's last World War I veteran has died.

Born in southwest England in 1898, Patch was called up for military service in 1916 when he was working as a teenage apprentice plumber. After training he was sent to the trenches as a machine-gunner in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.

A few weeks later, in one of the bloodiest battles of the war at Passchendaele, near the Belgian town of Ypres, he was badly wounded and three of his best friends were killed by a shell explosion.

I have visited the battlefield site referenced above. If you are ever in the area of Bruges, be certain to look up Quasimodo Tours. I always prefer to go on my own, avoiding bus tours whenever possible, but Quasimodo does a great job with World War I sites. The guide was outstanding; he was friendly with several WWI veterans at the time and extremely informative and interesting.

No comments:

Post a Comment