`An extraordinary biography by the very last witness of a devastating four years in British history' Daily Mail
On 17 June 2009, Harry Patch celebrated his 111th birthday. At the time, he was the last living British Tommy who had fought in the trenches during the First World War. Now that direct link with the past has gone. From Patch's vivid memories of an Edwardian childhood, through the horrors of the battles of Ypres and Passchendaele to working on the home front in the Second World War and fame in later life as a veteran, The Last Fighting Tommy is the story of an ordinary man's extraordinary life.
A hundred years after the end of the Great War, this powerful account of a life defined by those four devastating years remains as important and relevant as ever. This updated edition includes a new introduction, as well as previously unseen photographs.
Harry Patch served as a private in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. He was married in 1919 and had two sons. Between the wars he worked as a plumber and on building sites in the Bristol area, and when the Second World War broke out, he served first as a fire fighter with the Auxiliary Fire Service throughout the Bath Blitz, and later alongside American troops in the run-up to D-Day. In 2002 he attended the seventy-fifth anniversary of the inauguration of the Menin Gate at Ypres, and in 2005 he took part in the BBC TV documentary The Last Tommy and was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Bristol. He died in 2009, at the age of 111.