The Last Fighting Tommy: The Life of Harry Patch, the only surviving veteran of the trenches

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Little, Brown Book Group, 5 giu 2008
When Harry Patch wrote his memoir in 2007, he was the last British soldier alive to have fought in the trenches of the First World War. He was 109 years old and one of very few people who could directly recall the horror of that conflict. Born in 1898, Harry spent a rural childhood in Somerset before leaving school in 1913 to become a plumber. Three years later he was fighting in the mud and trenches during the Battle of Passchendaele. He saw a great many of his comrades die, and in one dreadful moment the shell that wounded him killed his three closest friends. He vividly describes the terror and intensity of daily life in the trenches. The Second World War saw Harry in action on the home front as a fire-fighter during the bombing of Bath. Late in life Harry achieved fame, meeting the Queen and taking part in the BBC documentary THE LAST TOMMY, finally shaking hands with a German veteran of the artillery, and speaking out frankly to Prime Minister Tony Blair about the soldiers shot for cowardice in the First World War. Sadly, Harry passed away in July 2009, aged 111 years old. His funeral in Wells cathedral was attended by over a thousand people, while many more lined the streets to pay their last respects to an ordinary man who lived an extraordinary life.

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Informazioni sull'autore (2008)

Harry Patch served as a private in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. He lived in Somerset, and died in July 2009. Richard Van Emden had interviewed over 270 veterens of the Great War and has written widely on the 1914-18 conflict. He lives in London.

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