Page last updated at 18:54 GMT, Monday, 27 July 2009 19:54 UK

Funeral plans made for last Tommy

Harry Patch
Harry Patch fought at the Battle of Passchendaele in World War I

A book of remembrance for Britain's last World War I "Tommy" has been opened in Wells Cathedral in Somerset.

Harry Patch, who lived in Fletcher House nursing home in the city, died on Saturday aged 111.

The former plumber, who was born in Combe Down near Bath, fought in the battle of Passchendaele in 1917.

A funeral procession for will be held in Wells on 6 August from Fletcher House to the cathedral followed by a service and private burial.

Public tickets for the cathedral service, which is being organised by the Ministry of Defence, are to be made available shortly.

Award call

The cortege will leave the nursing home, in Glastonbury Road, at noon.

Somerset's branch of the Royal British Legion has called for Mr Patch to be given a posthumous OBE or MBE.

The awards are usually made only to living recipients, but the branch argues Mr Patch deserves credit for his role representing 1914-18 veterans in recent years, in addition to the medals he gained for his military service.

The sole British survivor of the war now is former seaman Claude Choules, who is aged 108 and lives in Perth, Australia.

One American and a Canadian veteran also survive from the conflict.


The last surviving soldier of World War I has died

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