Thursday, 6 August 2009

Radiohead pay tribute to Harry Patch

Harry Patch, the UK's oldest surviving veteran of the first World War, was buried today. His death at the age of 111, has been marked by Radiohead's Thom Yorke who has recorded a track based on Harry's own words in a 2005 interview for BBC Radio Four.

Harry Patch (In memory of)

"i am the only one that got through
the others died where ever they fell
it was an ambush
they came up from all sides
give your leaders each a gun and then let them fight it out themselves
i've seen devils coming up from the ground
i've seen hell upon this earth
the next will be chemical but they will never learn"

In Thom Yorke's words:

"Recently the last remaining UK veteran of the 1st world war Harry Patch died at the age of 111. I had heard a very emotional interview with him a few years ago on the Today program on Radio4. 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. It was done live in an abbey. The strings were arranged by Jonny. I very much hope the song does justice to his memory as the last survivor. 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 song can be downloaded from Radiohead's website for £1, with all proceeds going to the Royal British Legion, an organisation which works hard to help British servicemen and women, and their families.

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