StatefuneralThe defence minister responsible for war veterans – Don Touhig MP – has reacted positively to an all-party campaign to grant a state funeral to the last WWI veteran to die.  The campaign is spearheaded by Iain Duncan Smith and has the support of 90 MPs in all.  Simon Weston, the Falklands conflict veteran, and Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate, are non-parliamentary supporters of the campaign.  Mr Duncan Smith’s early day motion states the following:

“That this House notes with enormous gratitude the sacrifice made by
all United Kingdom Armed Forces through the ages in defence of this
country and its values; notes particularly the very special nature of
the sacrifice made by those who fought in the First World War in
appalling conditions and with terrible loss of life; further notes that
there are very few veterans of World War One still living in the United
Kingdom; and urges the Prime Minister to recommend to Her Majesty that
the particular nature of their sacrifice be acknowledged and celebrated
by granting a state funeral to the last British veteran of the First
World War at the time of his death.”

Today’s Telegraph quotes Mr Duncan Smith as saying that there are probably ten surviving WWI veterans although two have told The Times that they would not want a state funeral.  If Mr Duncan Smith’s wish is granted it would be the first time that "an ordinary person" had received such a honour.