103 years old Harry Patch visited The East Somerset Railway for his birthday.
Harry rode on the footplate of the loco 5637 built in 1925 on the 2pm train from Cranmore.
On his return he was
presented with a certificate and a glass of champagne.
Harry Patch born 17 June 1898 in Combe Down, Bath. Trained as a plumber. Served in The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry 1917-1918 he was a Lewis gunner and fought at Passchendale. Only 2 of his platoon survived.
He returned to plumbing and worked on the Wills Tower of Bristol University. Where he attended the Topping Out in 1925.
Harry has lived at
Fletcher House, Wells from 1996.
In 1998 He took part
in the BBC TV series about the First World War veterans and along with other
veterans the French Government awarded him the Legion d'Honneur medal in 1999.
He still likes
reading and writing to family and friends.
Harry has just starred in the BBC series THE TRENCH.
He just recently celebrated his 104th birthday.
For the first time since he was a teenager marching into battle Harry revisited the sites of the battles of his youth. On a recent visit to the Menin Gate in the Belgian town of Ypres. He said "This is a very emotional time for me , I lost three of my best mates on Pilkem Ridge and I've never been back. It was a very moving ceremony"