Posted 16 September 2008 - 01:00 PM
Well, I've been on the road, and thought I'd try an audiobook to make the time go quicker...
"The Last Fighting Tommy: The Life of Harry Patch, the Only Surviving Veteran of the Trenches" by Harry Patch and Richard Van Emden
Read by Alan Howard
In all, a very enjoyable listen; no doubt helped by the very able Alan Howard. Dare I say, if Harry Patch set his mind to it, he could be the "James Herriot" of plumbing! I enjoyed the post-war plumbing strories as much as his experiences in the trenches and as a fire-fighter on the home-front in WWII. Read this as much for the social history, as for the war. It's an understated book, and I like to believe, Harry's testament to three brothers-in-arms.
If there is one paragraph that stood out, to be remembered, it is this...
"...some nights I dream - of that first battle. I can't forget it. I fell in a trench. There was a fella there. He must have been about our age. He was ripped shoulder to waist with shrapnel. I held his hand for the last sixty seconds of his life. He only said one word: 'Mother'. I didn't see her, but she was there. No doubt about it. He passed from this life into the next, and it felt as if I was in God's presence. I've never got over it. You never forget it. Never."