View Full Version : RIP - WW1 Veteran dies aged 107
08-02-2006, 7:18 PM
I picked this up from The Guardian Unlimited today (on-line) and thought what a lot of change this man must have experienced in his long life:
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Veteran of first world war dies aged 107
One of Britain's last remaining first world war veterans has died aged 107, his family said yesterday. Nicholas Swarbrick died last Thursday at a nursing home in Grimsargh, Lancashire, overlooking land his father once farmed.
Mr Swarbrick joined the merchant navy at 17 and was trained as a radio officer. He served as a merchant seaman during the 1914-18 conflict and remained in the merchant navy for 13 years. He then went to work for his father's farm business in Grimsargh for the rest of his working life. He will be cremated at Preston on Friday.
08-02-2006, 7:23 PM
Then I found this article from December 2005:
Friday December 16, 2005
War veteran, aged 107, gets honorary degree
A 107-year-old first world war veteran was honoured today by a university he helped build.
Harry Patch was awarded an honorary master of arts degree in a ceremony at the University of Bristol.
Mr Patch, from Wells, Somerset, served in the Duke of Cornwall's Light infantry and saw action in the trenches at the bloody battle of Passchendaele.
In his civilian life Mr Patch was a plumber, and a member of the construction team that built the university's Wills memorial building in the 1920s. He was at the topping-out ceremony for the building in 1925 and saw it being officially opened by George V. At today's event, held in the memorial building, the university's former pro-chancellor, Peter Durie, said Mr Patch was a "remarkable man."
08-02-2006, 7:25 PM
Mr Durie said: "By 1917, when Harry Patch joined his regiment, many of the major battles of the great war in which the British army was engaged - the Marne, Ypres, Loos, the Somme, Arras - were over.
"One was yet to come. Its name has entered the British national consciousness as synonymous with endurance, sacrificial courage and slaughter - Passchendaele. Harry Patch was in the middle of it."
During the battle, Mr Patch suffered a serious shrapnel injury during an artillery barrage that killed three comrades on his Lewis gun team.
Mr Durie said: "Looking back to the trenches of Passchendaele, he remembers above all the roar of the guns and, everywhere, mud.
"There was death and suffering, and heroism. He also remembers fear." He said Mr Patch was "eminently worthy" of his degree.
05-11-2007, 10:36 PM
The story of Harry Patch has this evening been revisited on the BBC 10 O'Clock News as part of their special tribute on the five remaining British servicemen who marched off to the Great War. Harry Patch is still alive - aged 109 years. He will be featured in a forthcoming Remembrance Day documentary on The Final Few.
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