One of the Last WWI Vets Dies at 111

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2009 12:50 PM CDT
This Oct. 27, 2007, photo shows Harry Patch, then aged 109, as a guest of honor during commemorations in Weston-super-Mare, England to launch the local poppy appeal.   (AP Photo/Barry Batchelor/PA Wire)
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(Newser) – Harry Patch, the last British man to survive World War I’s trenches, has died at age 111, the BBC reports. He was the oldest man in Europe, and the third oldest in the world. “I had the honor of meeting Harry, and I share his family's grief at the passing of a great man,” Gordon Brown said. “The noblest of generations has left us, but they will never be forgotten.”

Patch, a plumber by trade, served as a machine gunner. A friend described him as an “extremely modest, dignified gentleman, with a slightly wicked sense of humor.” His passing comes a week after Navy vet Henry Allingham’s death at age 113. There are now three certified surviving WWI vets: a Canadian, and American, and a British seaman.