LONDON — Harry Patch, the last soldier to fight in the trenches of Europe during World War I, died Saturday at the age of 111, his care home in southwest England said.
Patch — nicknamed “The Last Tommy” by Britain’s media — was conscripted into the British army at the age of 18 and served as a machine gunner with the 7th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. He was 19 when he fought in the Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, in Belgium in July-November 1917 in which an estimated 500,000 soldiers died.
That battle was one of the bloodiest in the conflict. One of the opposing German soldiers was an Austrian named Adolf Hitler, who as leader of Nazi Germany went on to launch World War II in Europe.
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