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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 October 2007, 17:44 GMT 18:44 UK
War veteran's tribute to fallen
Harry Patch
Harry Patch was called-up for service in 1917, aged 18
One of the last known surviving veterans of World War I has paid tribute to his fallen colleagues as he launched his local poppy appeal.

Harry Patch, 109, from Wells, was guest of honour at Saturday's ceremony in Weston-super-Mare where a cannon blast launched the appeal in Somerset.

Mr Patch said he was "humbled" to be representing an entire generation.

"Today is not for me, it is for the millions who did not come home with their lives. They are the heros."

'Not justified'

He added: "It is also important we remember those who lost their lives on both sides."

Mr Patch was called up for service in 1917 when he worked as an 18-year-old apprentice plumber in Bath.

Despite joining Saturday's ceremony, he believes that the loss of life in World War I was not justified.

He added: "I met someone from the German side and we both shared the same opinion - we fought, we finished and we were friends - it wasn't worth it."

During the commemorations, soldiers from the historic Wessex Garrison along with the Avon Glen Pipe and Drums Band led a Parade of Standards on the seafront.

A performance by Weston Brass followed before a flypast from the Army Air Corps Historic Aircraft Flight.

SEE ALSO
WWI veteran names RNLI lifeboat
20 Jul 07 |  Somerset
WWI veteran celebrates 109 years
17 Jun 07 |  Somerset

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