The last survivor of the first world war trenches has died aged 111.
Harry Patch, knicknamed the ‘Last Tommy’, died peacefully at his care home in Wells, Somerset, at 9am this morning.
His death comes one week after that of fellow veteran Henry Allingham, then the world’s oldest man, at 113.
Patch, who fought at the Battle of Passchendale in 1917, was the last veteran of the great war left in Britain. He once said: “Millions of men came to fight in this war and I find it incredible that I am the only one left.”
His care home Fletcher House today confirmed his death saying he slipped away peacefully in his sleep.
Chief Executive of Somerset Care, Andrew Larpent, said Mr Patch had been unwell for some time.
He added: “His friends and his family have been here and he just quietly slipped away at 9am this morning. It was how he would have wanted it, without having to be moved to hospitals but here, peacefully with his friends and carers.”
My cousin and her husband met him briefly at a Western Front Association event a few years ago and said he was a very nice man, quiet and unassuming.
He ended his biography
"Well if they have written the obituary, all I can say is that I hope to live long enough that theywill have to update it, and more than once! Then I can fade away. Isn't that what old soldiers are meant to do?"
It now seems even more of a privilege to have seen him, Henry Allingham who died only a few days ago, and Bill Stone at the last Voices of a Generation in November last year.
There is just one man left now, Claude Choules former Royal Navy, in Australia.
This is my photograph of his portrait which hangs in the Bishop's Palace in Wells.
Steve of Pub Philosopher found the words I was looking for here.
Pack up yout troubles in your old kit bag and smile, b0ys, smile!