The last surviving British soldier to have fought in the trenches of the First World War, Harry Patch, has died. He was 111 and outlived his two wives and children. In March this year he was awarded France’s prestigious Legion d’Honneur.
A machine-gunner, Mr Patch was conscripted into the army when he was 18 and fought in the Battle of Passchendaele, near Ypres, which claimed the lives of more than 70,000 British soldiers. He follows fellow British Veteran Henry Allingham who died only a week ago at the age of 113. Both took part alongside other Veteran Bill Stone, who passed away earlier this year, in last November’s commemorations to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of the Great war. Mr Patch, who survived after being badly wounded in a shell attack that killed three of his comrades, once described the war as ‘organised murder’, saying ‘it was not worth it, it was not worth one, let alone millions.