Last term we watched part of a documentary called ‘World War One in Colour’ and one of the old soldiers who shared their memories on the film was Harry Patch. A memorable line was – “Anyone who tells you that in the trenches that they weren’t scared is a damned liar.”
Patch was Britain’s last survivor of the trenches of World War I and he died last night at 111. Patch was a reluctant soldier who became a powerful eyewitness to the horror of war, and a symbol of a lost generation. He was wounded in 1917 in the Battle of Passchendaele, which he remembered as “mud, mud and more mud mixed together with blood.”
Patch did not speak about his war experiences until he was 100. Once he did, he was adamant that the slaughter he witnessed had not been justified.”I met someone from the German side and we both shared the same opinion: we fought, we finished and we were friends,” he said in 2007.”It wasn’t worth it.”
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