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World War One Generation

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 16 September 2009

With the death of Harry Patch on 25 July 2009, the nation lost the last known British veteran of world war one (WW1) living in the UK. This was a hugely significant milestone and one which the Government have planned for some time to mark. This service will take place at 10.45 on Wednesday 11 November 2009 in Westminster Abbey in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh .

The service is to commemorate the passing of all who served. It will recognise not only the military contribution in the great war but also that of the civilian population who supported them at home. Attendance at the service will be by invitation only but we hope that a broad cross-section of the population of the United Kingdom, with links to the war, will attend. This is being organised through the Lord Lieutenants in each county. In addition, attendees will include members of the armed forces, Government, ambassadors, high commissioners and other VIPs.

World war one had an impact upon this country which endures today, over 90 years after it ended, and I hope that this service will be a fitting occasion when the nation can stand as one as it recognises the debt that we owe and reconfirms that “we will remember” the generation that we have now lost.