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Culture

Radiohead pay tribute to last Great War veteran

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-05

Rock stars Radiohead have released "Harry Patch (in Memory Of)", an online tribute to Britain's last surviving World War I veteran, who died last month at the age of 111.

AFP - Alternative rock superstars Radiohead on Wednesday released a musical tribute to Harry Patch, the last soldier to fight in the trenches of Europe in World War I, who died at the age of 111.
  
The track "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)" was inspired by a radio interview with the former soldier, who fought at the notorious Battle of Passchendaele in 1917 in which more than 70,000 British troops died.
  
The British group's lead singer Thom Yorke said: "I had heard a very emotional interview with (Harry Patch) a few years ago ... The way he talked about war had a profound effect on me.


  

"It became the inspiration for a song that we happened to record a few weeks before his death."
  
He added: "It would be very easy for our generation to forget the true horror of war, without the likes of Harry to remind us.
  
"I hope we do not forget.
  
"As Harry himself said 'Irrespective of the uniforms we wore, we were all victims'."
  
The haunting song contains the words "I am the only one that got through, the others died wherever they fell" and concludes with the line "I've seen hell upon this earth, the next will be chemical but they will never learn."
  
All the proceeds from the song, which is only available by download, will go to the Royal British Legion, which supports current and former members of the British armed forces.
  
Patch will be buried on Thursday in Wells, in southwest England, where he died in a care home last month.

Date created : 2009-08-05

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