Jul 25th, 2009 | LONDON — Harry Patch, the last British military veteran of World War I, has died at 111, the nursing home where he lived said Saturday.
The Fletcher House care home in Wells, southwest England, said Patch died early Saturday.
Patch had been the last surviving soldier from the British Army to have served in the 1914-18 war. The only other surviving British veteran of the war, former airman Henry Allingham, died a week ago at age 113.
I’ve long shared the conviction of many authors and thinkers that World War One was the most momentous event of the 20th century, “[t]he blow that hurled the modern world on its course of self-destruction,” as Jacques Barzun put it. Of course I have nothing profound to say about it; I just feel that this sort of moment deserves a long period of somber reflection.