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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (5) | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (3)

Born in Combe Down, Bath, Somerset, England, UK
Died in Wells, Somerset, England, UK  (natural causes)
Birth NameHenry John Patch

Mini Bio (1)

Harry Patch was born on June 17, 1898 in Combe Down, Bath, Somerset, England as Henry John Patch. He was married to Doris, Jean and Ada Billington. He died on July 25, 2009 in Wells, Somerset.

Spouse (3)

Doris (2003 - 2007) (her death)
Jean (1980 - 1984) (her death)
Ada Billington (1918 - 1976) (her death) (2 children)

Trivia (5)

The last of three (9 Nov 2008) surviving British veterans of the First World War. The last to have served in the trenches.
Oxford group Radiohead composed and recorded a song "Harry Patch (In memory of)". Money from downloads of the song were donated to the Royal British Legion.
In addition to the people who attended his funeral at Wells Cathedral on 6 August 2009, many thousands more watched the ceremony on screens erected on the Cathedral Green outside. Harry had specifically invited representatives of Germany to his funeral, in a spirit of reconciliation.
Mr. Patch's funeral was at Wells cathedral on Thursday 6th August 2009, followed by a private family burial.
Britain's last survivor of the trenches of WWI.

Personal Quotes (7)

It wasn't worth it. No war is worth it. No war is worth the loss of a couple of lives let alone thousands. T'isn't worth it...the First World War, if you boil it down, what was it? Nothing but a family row. That's what caused it. The Second World War...Hitler wanted to govern Europe, nothing to it. I would have taken the Kaiser, his son, Hitler and the people on his side and bloody shot them. Out the way and saved millions of lives. T'isn't worth it.
Opposite my bedroom there is a window and there is a light over the top. Now when the staff go into that room they put the light on. If I was half asleep the light coming on was the flash of a bomb. That flash brought it all back. For eighty years I've never watched a war film, I never spoke of it, not to my wife. For six years, I've been here [in the nursing home]. Six years it's been nothing but World War One. As I say, World War One is history, it isn't news. Forget it.
[looking out over a nearly endless sea of white military gravestones] When you look at it, why did they die?
[giving a speech at the Menin Gate war memorial] Let us remember our brethren who fell - on *both* sides of the line.
[talking about a fellow soldier who was killed in front of him in the trenches] He died. I held his hand for the last thirty seconds of his life. [wipes tears from his eyes]
If any man tells you that he went into the front line and he wasn't scared, he's a liar.
Irrespective of the uniforms we wore, we were all victims.

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