What has struck me most about the last small handful of survivors over the last few years, and about Harry Patch in particular is the deep sense of brotherhood that still remained between them and the other soldiers involved in the conflict. And not just the soldiers on their own side. Harry would often refer to the German soldiers that they were facing in the same terms as he spoke of the men and boys fighting on his own side. He visited Allied and German memorial services alike.
Harry will be sorely missed partly because he was a great person, but also because for those of us who no longer have a direct link to that terrible past, he was a link and he came to represent not an individual but the collective experience of all of the soldiers who took part in the First World War.
In 2005 Harry gave an interview to the Today programme. Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead heard that interview and was so moved by it that he wrote a moving tribute to Harry. Yesterday the band announced that they were releasing this tribute to honour Harry - it is available to purchase and download from their website - with all of the profits going to the Royal British Legion. You can listen to the track here.
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