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Publisher's Summary

Harry Patch, the last British soldier alive to have fought in the trenches of the First World War, is now 109 years old and one of very few people who can directly recall the horror of that conflict.

After a rural childhood in Somerset, Harry left 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.

Harry vividly describes the terror and intensity of daily life in the trenches. The Second World War saw him 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.

This is the story of an ordinary man's extraordinary life.

©2007 Richard van Emden (P)2008 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"[An]extraordinary autobiography... a moving, non-sentimental account by the very last witness of a devastating four years in Britain's history." ( Daily Mail)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • 01-24-09

Haunting & Inspiring

A fantastic story from a truly fantastic man, highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Samantha
  • 02-09-18

fantastic insight

really enjoyed listening to this book, dear old Harry Patch. It gives a great insight not just into his war service but also his life before and after the war. It is also a great snap shot of what life in general was like and how we lived 100 years ago.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • B. S. Cunliffe
  • 08-11-17

Fascinating

Incredible piece of both social and Military history.
Well worth listening to whether you are interested in history or not.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • barbara Douglas
  • 08-06-17

Humbled

This book is a reminder of what our troops faced in order for us to have our freedom
Harry patch is a true icon I was very moved and so glad he told us his story I now want to study about the First World War it can teach us about life in general, the human tragedy is unthinkable

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • andrew
  • 11-25-12

Harry Patch

This is a nice book, but please do not think it is about the First World War, this is a book about Harry Patch, a great man, but it is not a soldiers story

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin
  • 10-16-12

lovely book

this book made me think of the sacrifices the men of the wars made for us, really funny in places too !

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tony
  • 11-09-08

History in your own lifetime.

Made you appreciate what these young men went through not so very long ago.