World War I hero gets honorary CIPHE fellowship
Harry Patch, the last survivor of World War I, has been awarded an honorary fellowship by the Charted Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) as a surprise 111th birthday present.
Mr Patch who turned 111 last Tuesday became a plumber after the war and writes about his trade in his autobiography The Last Fighting Tommy.
He received news of his fellowship in a personal letter from Blane Judd, CIPHE chief executive and secretary, enclosing a gold lapel badge which is given to fellows of the institute.
'Harry is delighted to receive this honour,' said a spokesman for Mr Patch. He would far rather be considered a plumber than a soldier.'
The citation for the honorary fellowship states:
In recognition, as the British super centenarian, of his commitment, dedication and service to the plumbing industry.
For his outstanding commitment to safeguarding public health by promoting good plumbing practise and in undertaking prestigious installations throughout the south west, including the Wills Memorial Building where he attended the formal opening of the building by King George V and Queen Mary on 9th June1925.
For the worldwide respect Harry has earned as a national hero and ambassador for his country.
'Harry is an amazing gentleman. This award is granted in only a few instances and given to individuals who we feel have made significant contributions to the plumbing and heating engineering industry,' commented Judd. 'The whole nation has huge respect for Harry and we felt it was only right that we should recognise his long service to our industry and the country.'
26 June 2009