Tickets snapped up for Harry funeral
A Bath man camped overnight on a bench to be at the front of the queue for tickets for the funeral of local hero Harry Patch today.
Hundreds of people wishing to pay their final respects to the last Tommy collected their tickets for the 111-year-old's funeral service at Wells Cathedral this morning.
The queue began to form early, with Trevor Matcham, of Bath, sleeping on a bench on the Cathedral Green so he could be at the front of the line.
There will be a strong Bath interest in next Thursday's service for Britain's oldest man, who was born in Combe Down.
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Antiques dealer Mr Matcham said: "It is certainly worth it. This is the one occasion I have got to celebrate Harry's life, to celebrate all the others who gave me and everyone else the freedom we have today."
By 10am everyone waiting in line had received their tickets and the Cathedral Office, which was giving out a maximum of two tickets per person, still had around 200 left.
A spokesman for the Cathedral Office said: "The people are just coming in a nice steady stream now."
The funeral of First World War soldier Mr Patch will be held on Thursday, August 6, when a procession will lead from the care home where he lived, Fletcher House in Glastonbury Road, to Wells Cathedral.
Both the Duchess of Gloucester and the Duchess of Cornwall have been confirmed as mourners, and the service will also be attended by Bath and North East Somerset Council chairman Cllr Bryan Chalker.
Police are warning there will be road closures in Wells from early in the morning.
Mr Patch's coffin will start its journey at 11.30am from Fletcher House to the cathedral.
The coffin will be flanked by six private soldiers of the Rifles Regiment, the successor to Mr Patch's regiment, along with two private soldiers of each of the armies of Belgium, France and Germany.
In this way, it is hoped to symbolise Mr Patch's desire for reconciliation and his view that "irrespective of the uniforms we wore, we were all victims".
Members of the public are encouraged to pay their respects to Mr Patch by lining the route of the cortege as it travels through the centre of Wells to the cathedral and silence is requested.
The funeral service will start at noon.
Entry is by ticket, of which a total of 1,050 have been printed. Threequarters of these are available from the office in person, with the rest being posted out.