That really was the Last Post

I don’t know how or why, but I was labouring under the impression that one more First  World War veteran remained to outlive Harry Patch and Henry Allingham.

But no, that’s it.

There’s no-one left to give their first-hand account of what it was really like to fight for your country then.

That’s another piece of history that’s now gone straight from a living oral tradition to one that will now have to be recreated with words and pictures.

Sure, we’re better off than we ever have been in terms of recording the lives and words of the millions of ordinary people who have helped to shape our world, but nothing will ever beat being able to ask someone face to face about their life and experiences.

It was inevitable that this would happen but not any less sad for that and it’s an unavoidable fact that one day we’ll be saying farewell to the last Second World War veteran in just the same way.

The best way to honour them all is to remember what they were fighting against and strive to make sure that we don’t have to fight against it again.

Now, that’s a real legacy.

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3 Responses

  1. One more is left Steve. Lives in Oz though.

    Quoting the Mail – “The only British First World War veteran still alive now is Claude Choules, 108, who served in the Royal Navy and lives in Perth, Australia.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1202104/Harry-Patch-Britains-oldest-man-survivor-Great-War-trenches-dies-aged-111.html#ixzz0MNZaOVM3

  2. Thanks for the info, George.

    I guess the British media must be ignoring him then.

  3. Yeah, he seems to drop off the radar by not being a British citizen any more. I can see why, because of the way news is always localized to some degree, but TBH, I think it’s good to be aware of every surviving veteran, regardless of nationality. They all went through the same hell, after all.

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