Fourth Estate buys Patch title

<p>Fourth Estate has bought a book examining the legacy of the First World War and the life of Harry Patch, the longest-living soldier to have fought in the trenches.</p><p>Fourth Estate publishing director Nicholas Pearson bought world rights from David Miller at Rogers, Coleridge &amp; White for <em>The Last Veteran: Harry Patch and the Legacy of War </em>by Peter Parker for an undisclosed sum. It will be published on 29th October as a &pound;14.99 hardback. Part of the profits of the book will be donated to the Royal British Legion.</p><p>The book looks at how the First World War has been commemorated, from those who fought to the present day. It also examines Britain&#39;s relationship with the Great War throughout the 20th century until the present day and the death of Patch in July, aged 111.</p><p>Pearson said: &quot;The First World War was fought by ordinary civilians like Patch, who epitomised Edwardian Britain and the sense, now lost, of what Britain stood for and why it was worth fighting for. The book is an illuminating and timely tribute to that remarkable generation.&quot;</p><p>The book comes amid renewed interest in First World War memoirs, following the deaths of Patch and Henry Allingham, a founding member of the Royal Air Force, within seven days of each other. Sales of Patch&#39;s 2007 &shy;memoir, <em>The Last Fighting Tommy</em> (Bloomsbury), and Allingham&#39;s autobiography, <em>Kitchener&#39;s Last Volunteer </em>(Mainstream), have seen a massive spike in sales since they died.</p><p>Pearson added: &quot;These deaths of the last veterans have been incredibly poignant. Wars leave their traces, which filter down through generations, and the final disappearance of that war from living memory has shown itself to be a very significant moment.&quot; </p>