Kitchener's Last Volunteer
The Life of Henry Allingham, the Oldest Surviving Veteran of the Great War
Date of publication: 2009
Publisher: Mainstream Publishing
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Henry Allingham is the last British serviceman alive to have volunteered for active duty in the First World War and is one of very few people who can directly recall the horror of that conflict. In Kitchener's Last Volunteer, he vividly recaptures how life was lived in the Edwardian era and how it was altered irrevocably by the slaughter of millions of young men in the Great War, and by the subsequent coming of the modern age. Henry is unique in that he saw action on land, sea and in the air with the British Naval Air Service. He was present at the Battle of Jutland in 1916 with the British Grand Fleet and went on to serve on the Western Front. He befriended several of the young pilots who would lose their lives, and he himself suffered the privations of the front line under fire. In recent years, Henry was given the opportunity to tell his remarkable story to a wider audience through a BBC documentary, and he has since become a hero to many, meeting royalty and bestowed many honours such as the Legion d'honneur - France's highest accolade. This is the touching story of an ordinary man's extraordinary life - one who has outlived six monarchs and twenty-one prime ministers, and who represents a last link to a vital point in our nation's history.