Radiohead have released a new song today in tribute to the late Harry Patch, who was the last living British World War I veteran to fight in the trenches until his death on July 25th at the ripe old age of 111. Thom was moved by an interview Patch gave a couple of years ago and was inspired to write a song. He writes on DAS:
“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”
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”.
This morning the Today program played the song for the first time and now it is available to download from our website.
The proceeds of this song will go to the British Legion.
To peace and understanding.