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Last Tommy launches appeal

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Britain's last Tommy today paid tribute to generations of fallen soldiers on board a 5,000-tonne warship.

Britain's last Tommy today paid tribute to generations of fallen soldiers on board a 5,000-tonne warship.

Former Shropshire resident Harry Patch, 110, the last survivor of World War One trench warfare on the Western Front, joined Corporal Johnson Beharry, one of only 10 living recipients of the Victoria Cross, on board HMS Somerset in support of this year's poppy appeal.

Former England batsman Marcus Trescothick also joined the servicemen when the 463ft Type 23 Duke Class frigate berthed at Avonmouth docks, in Somerset.

During the service there was a fly-past by the Army Air Corps Historic Aircraft Flight, during which there was a poppy drop from a Beaver Aircraft to remember fallen comrades of both world wars and of recent conflicts.

Mr Patch, of Wells, Somerset, Mr Trescothick and Cpl Beharry declared the appeal open in Somerset after two cannon blasts, firing poppy petals into the air.

Mr Patch lived in Shropshire as a young man and married his first wife Ada at Holy Trinity Church in Hadley, Telford, in 1919.

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