Friday, 14 August 2009

2006 The Long NOT Winding Road - Paws For Thought

While I have been reminiscing on our trip, my friend Affer has been busy on his blog On The Road To Who-Knows-Where... on his travels around the Somme Battlefield area. I recommend that you pop over and have a read. Also there is BBE's Video Snapshot, where the Belgium Based Englishman has been concentrating on various small film clips of war memorials.

Last but not least, one blog that has become a living history is WWI:Experiences Of An English Soldier. This blog is compiled by Bill Lamin and the posts are copies of his grandfather's letters that were written 90 years ago to the day they were written. Willimam Henry Bonser Lamin was born in Awsworth, Nottinghamshire, about 15 miles from where we live, so there is some local interest for us.

It feels quite poignant that as I was putting the finishing touches to the Verdun Battlefield Tour that the news of Harry Patch's death was announced. Harry was the last surviving veteran from the trenches of WWI, having fought during the Battle of Passchendaele.
He returned to Passchendaele in 2007 for the 90th anniversary of the battle, laying a wreath, not only on a memorial for the British dead, but also at a cemetery for the German victims of the offensive.
In 2007 he became the UK's oldest author when he collaborated with Richard van Emden to write The Last Fighting Tommy, a detailed account of his life.

Mr Patch's friend Lesley Ross said she felt great affection towards him.

"Extremely modest, dignified gentleman, with a slightly wicked sense of humour and considerate to everybody he met. Very polite and I would sum him up as a true gentleman," she said.

Finally it is all quiet on the Western Front. Sleep well Harry. You have earned it.


Affer said...

Bravo, and very well posted Ted - Harry Patch earned his peace, and his personal commitment could not be doubted.
The two blogs you mention are excellent - thanks for finding them - and I might also mention Ten Inch Wheel's latest postings; he had relatives who died in the Somme and Paschendale, and writes with some feeling on the matter.

bikerted said...

I have been following TIW for some time now, having picking him up from your sidebar Affer. Must get mine sorted out sometime!

When we returned from this tour, Ian mentioned to his father that we had been round part of the WWI battlegrounds. For the first time Ian's father mentioned that we had some family members fighting in the Somme. It seems strange that they may have been fighting with TIW's relatives. This is something that may need more investigation.

We only recently discovered Harry Patch when having saved our tokens from a daily newspaper to obtain the BBC's Great War DVD set, a copy of Harry's book was included.

Baron's Life said...

Bravo from me as well, you have done a wonderful job on this one, thanks and cheers!

BBE said...

Hat's off to Harry and all the old veterans.

I'm always poking around the Ieper (Ypres) Salient area, there will be more memorials and cemetery posts.

Thanks for the shout.