The Last Veteran by Peter Parker; Sapper Martin: The Secret Great War Diary of Albert Martin by Richard van Emden (ed); We Hope to Get Word Tomorrow: The Garvin Family Letters, 1914–1916 by Mark Pottle and John Ledingham; We Will Remember Them: Voices from the Aftermath of the Great War by Max Arthur; The Great Silence 1918–1920: Living in the Shadow of the Great War by Juliet Nicolson - review by Nigel Jones

Nigel Jones

Nigel Jones On Five Books On The Great War

  • Peter Parker, 
  • Richard van Emden (ed), 
  • Mark Pottle and John Ledingham, 
  • Max Arthur, 
  • Juliet Nicolson

Harry Patch, who died in July aged 111, truly was, as Peter Parker's title indicates, The Last Veteran – at his death in a care home in his native Somerset he was the only man left to have fought in the trenches. Harry's war ended in September 1917 during the Battle of Passchendaele, when a shell exploded over the stretcher he was carrying, killing three of his mates and wounding Harry in the groin.

Since Harry was an ordinary man – a plumber who never moved far from his West Country roots and whose longevity was his sole claim to his late celebrity – Parker's chronicle of his life is necessarily woven in with a wider meditation on the war, its ending

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