We shall re­mem­ber them

Bath Chronicle - - NEWS -

As we ap­proach the 100th an­niver­sary of the armistice of the First World War, over the next four weeks Ann Cullis from Bath and North East Som­er­set Coun­cil will high­light some of the events hap­pen­ing this Novem­ber and looks back at events and projects over the last four years in B&NES

Harry Patch was born and lived in Combe Down, and died aged 111 in 2009. He did not speak about his ex­pe­ri­ences as a sol­dier in the First World war un­til very late in his life; and when he did, he al­ways em­pha­sised how or­di­nary he was. As he be­came older and older, out-liv­ing his friends and com­rades, he felt that peo­ple treated him as a mi­nor celebrity when (he said) his only un­usual qual­ity was to have lived to such a great age. Af­ter the war, he was a plumber and heat­ing en­gi­neer and worked on the wa­ter sup­ply to the Ro­man Baths. In the Guild­hall in Bath, half way up the main stair­case, is a plaque to hon­our Harry Patch, and also a framed cer­tifi­cate: the Hon­orary Fel­low­ship awarded to him by the Char­tered In­sti­tute of Plumb­ing & Heat­ing En­gi­neer­ing, on June 17 2009. He died on 25 July – just five weeks af­ter the Hon­orary Fel­low­ship was awarded. In Combe Down there is a small com­mem­o­ra­tive plaque on the front of the house where he lived, and one of the roads in the new Mul­berry Park de­vel­op­ment has been named Patch Street in his hon­our.

Pic­ture: Philip Coburn

Harry Patch, who fought in the First World War at Pass­chen­daele with the 7th Duke of Corn­wall’s Light In­fantry, pic­tured in 2007, aged 109, at Dochy Farm Ceme­tery in Flan­ders

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