Radiohead’s Thom Yorke reveals reasons behind Harry Patch tribute song

'It would be very easy for our generation to forget the true horror of war,' singer explains

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has blogged about his reasons for recording and releasing new track ‘Harry Patch (In Memory Of)’.

The song was put online today (August 5) at, with all proceeds going to the Royal British Legion. It’s release comes one day before the funeral of Harry Patch, who was the last surviving First World War veteran to have fought in the trenches. Patch died, aged 111, on July 25.

Writing on about the track, Yorke explained how he first became aware of Patch, adding that the he and bandmate Jonny Greenwood had recorded the tribute to him in an abbey shortly before his death.


“I had heard a very emotional interview with him a few years ago on the Today program on BBC Radio 4,” Yorke wrote.

“The way he talked about war had a profound effect on me. It became the inspiration for a song that we happened to record a few weeks before his death.

“It was done live in an abbey. The strings were arranged by Jonny [Greenwood]. I very much hope the song does justice to his memory as the last survivor.”

Yorke added that he thinks it is important for future generations to keep in mind the “horror” caused by war.

He stated: “It would be very easy for our generation to forget the true horror of war, without the likes of Harry to remind us. I hope we do not forget.”

He ended his piece by quoting Patch, who said “irrespective of the uniforms we wore, we were all victims” and hailing “peace and understanding”.


The lyrics to ‘Harry Patch (In Memory Of)’ are available to read on

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