Last Post - Ieper - 29/07/2007
On Sunday, July, 29th, 2007, WW1-veteran Harry
Patch attended the daily Last Post ceremony at the Menin
Gate at Ieper.
Veteran, 109, revisits WWI trench
The last known surviving British soldier to have fought in
the trenches of World War I has revisited the site where he
fought 90 years ago. Harry Patch, 109, from Somerset, made
the trip to Belgium to recall his part in the Battle of Passchendaele
which claimed 250,000 British casualties.
He also went to pay homage to the tens of thousands of German
soldiers who lost their lives.
Tuesday marks the anniversary of the start of the Battle
Mr Patch served with the Duke of Cornwall's light infantry
and was called up for service while working as an 18-year-old
apprentice plumber in Bath. During the fighting Mr Patch was
badly wounded and three of his best friends were killed when
a shell exploded just yards from where he was standing. He
made the trip with historian Richard van Emden, who helped
Mr Patch write down his memories.
Mr van Emden showed him the five miles they advanced over
99 days which claimed 3,000 British casualties every day.
Mr Patch was also shown a recently discovered panoramic photograph
of the fields taken in 1917. "Too many died. War isn't
worth one life," said Mr Patch. He said war was the "calculated
and condoned slaughter of human beings".
Mr Patch laid a wreath at the site of the trench, which now
forms part of a German war cemetery.
"The Germans suffered the same as we did," he said.
Germany also had heavy losses in the battle which has been
described as one of the bloodiest and most brutal of the Great
The Battle of Passchendaele was officially known as the Third
Battle of Ypres - the name of the principal town within a
bulge in the British lines.
British commanders wanted to reach the Belgian coast to destroy
German submarine bases following a warning that a blockade
would soon cripple the war effort.
There was also the prospect of a Russian withdrawal from
the war which would strengthen the Germans on the Western
- Watch also the video
Op zondag 29 juli 2007 was WW1-veteraan Harry
Patch aanwezig op de Last Post onder de
Menenpoort te Ieper.
Arrival of Harry Patch, 109 years old.
Laying a wreath.
The buglers and Last Post committee.
Everybody wanted to shake a hand with Harry Patch.
Na de speciale ceremonie, ging hij met de heren Richard van
Emden en Peter Barton mee boeken signeren in "Over the
top" frontreizen annex boekwinkel.
Forum Eerste Wereldoorlog
Deze rubriek staat open voor iedereen.
Ook jij kunt foto's doorsturen voor de rubriek "Je was er
bij". Ons adres: email@example.com
Everyone can send pictures for these pages "You were
there". Our address: firstname.lastname@example.org