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Page last updated at 09:42 GMT, Friday, 10 September 2010 10:42 UK
Cadets from Wells and Street lay wreath for Harry Patch
harry patch
Harry Patch visited Ypres in 2007

Cadets from Glastonbury and Street are joining veterans to lay wreaths at Ypres in honour of Harry Patch.

Harry was the last surviving Tommy who served in the Battle of Passchendaele during World War I.

The veterans from the Wells branch of the Royal British Legion are travelling to Flanders to mark the first anniversary of Harry's death.

This year, they are taking four cadets with them so they can learn about the sacrifices made in the Great War.

'Remembrance day'

Tyne Cot, where the wreath will be laid, is the largest military cemetery in the world.

They will also visit Menin Gate where thousands of soldiers passed through in order to make their way to the frontline.

The laying of the wreaths represents the respect you've got to give to all the soldiers.
Flight Sergeant Andy Toulson

Robin White, chairman of the Wells branch of the Royal Legion and a friend of Harry, said: "The 22nd September 1917 was when a German shell dropped on Harry and the rest of his machine gun team and killed three of his mates and very much went and wounded him.

"He has always said the 22 September is his remembrance day so we have been coming out here for several years on the second weekend in September."

Cadets from 914 Glastonbury and Street Squadron Air Training Corps will be joining Robin and other veterans and will also take part in a marching parade.

Phillip Hendcot, a cadet from the squadron, said: "It's important for me to get an insight into what happened and to find out what it was like back in the day.

"It was obviously not in my time but I am hoping to learn a bit more about it."

Flight Sergeant Andy Toulson said: "Going to Menin Gate is the highlight of the weekend and looking at all the museums and getting an insight into the history of the place.

"The laying of the wreaths represents the respect you've got to give to all the soldiers, when you're stood there and everyone is laying their wreaths, you've got to take in the moment."

The cost of trip for the cadets has been subsidised through the Harry Patch Memorial Fund.

Next year, the aim is to get in contact with children from local schools so they can accompany the veterans and learn about the sacrifices made by soldiers in World War I and Harry Patch's life.

Veterans lay wreaths for Harry Patch
11 Sep 09 |  People & Places


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