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An extremely good idea, but they better make sure they get the actual last survivor. They don't suddenly want another popping up a few months later.

An excellent idea, which the government will probably claim as their own before much longer.

Not a good idea. This will be the first in line of an endless succession of State funerals for "ordinary people", each one of less meaning than the one before. I can already see Gordon Brown preening himself about this "British" tribute and taking a bit of the glory for himself.

I was initially against this idea on the grounds of "what makes this one death any more important than the 700,000 others?".

However I have come round to the idea now as it will mark the passing of a generation that gave the ultimate sacrifice not just in defence of this country, but of others.

I slighty agree with UMBongo in that we should be careful that this doesn't get out of hand and become another orhestrated PR stunt filled with fake grief like we have seen so recently.

I can see the embarrassment factor of another 'last WWI survivor' popping up - and we can't ignore risks such as those people who kept claiming to be the real Princess Anastasia of Russia. But, from a practical point of view, surely it's only a problem if in the meantime they've stuck a whacking great monument on top of the grave of the last-but-one WWI survivor? I can just imagine some jobsworth from DCMS insisting they dig up the 'wrong' body.

More to the point: we have the slightly unsavoury image of the Duke of Norfolk touring old peoples' homes and hovering over elderly veterans waiting to see which one lasts longest before he can arrange a state funeral. Sooner or later the matron will probably ban him from visiting and upsetting the other inmates, er residents.

Not diminishing sacrifice and all that, but don't we have the annual Remembrance Service for this sort of thing? State Funeral for the last survivor of the Zepplin raids on London? or of the Ministry of Food rationing committee?

Remembrance Day is an annual event aimed at the remembrance of all casulaties of conflict every year. This is a one-off marking the last of the kind. For a conflict that took so much out I don't think it's a bad idea. Your argument, William, is precisely the one I've been using against Brown's "Veterans Day" PR stunt though.

My first thought was to say no because we already have the tomb of the unknown soldier which I think is far more moving. However this would be an opportunity to educate younger people about the horrors of war and the sacrifice made by so many young men.

So definately a large public funeral, but lets not overdo it.

"This will be the first in line of an endless succession of State funerals for "ordinary people", each one of less meaning than the one before."

I think given the sacrifice the WW1 veterans made to serve our country, the least the country could do to honour them would be to offer them this one-off outstanding gesture as a token of our appreciation. Only the truly mean-spirited or unpatriotic would think otherwise.

How delightful. The state hovering over the last few survivors of WWI, waiting for them all to die. "Last one alive gets a state funeral"

Have they asked them all what they think?

"Have they asked them all what they think?"

Apparently so... there is to be some sort of national commemoration if the last survivor happens to be one of those two who have said they don't want a state funeral. What that national commemoration is though remains to be seen.

The British Legion supports the idea, True Blue, but (as my post suggested) The Times says it has found two veterans who wouldn't want it.

Whilst I applaud the sentiments behind IDS's EDM, it does have a slightly macabre touch of musical chairs (musical coffins?) about it. "They were only playing leap-frog ..."

In principle, I think it's a splendid idea, but it does come across as a little ghoulish to say "whoever dies last gets the state funeral" -- it opens one family to an enormous amount of entirely unasked-for press interest in their private grief. I think I would rather see a state event with religious services and tributes to the entire generation taking place in the months after the last veteran dies.

I think that this is an example of the finest principle resulting in a very bad idea. I think that we can all agree that something should be done to mark the passing of a generation that gave so much but this is not the way.

I initially read this idea in the times and thought it was an excellent one, however having read the very practical objections on hear I think we ought to be very careful.

An excellent idea- we will never know the identity of the Unknown Solider but we will always know the last British man to die. I hope his name lives on to represent all who fought on our behalf.

A nice idea IDS, but probably impractical for the reasons stated above. And what then happens in 20 years or so - do we do the same for the last survivor of WW2?

Having recently been to the incredibly tasteful and moving WW2 memorial in Washington DC, how about something similar in Britain - for those who died for our freedoms in two world wars?

Nice idea but better perhaps would be better pensions for widows & orphans of those who died in our service, improved facilities and care for those wounded or damaged, better after service provision in education and re-training for veterans, real payments to the surviving Japanese POWS

I feel sorry for the families of the other nine who don't quite make it. To be honest I don't like the idea of one man's family being singled out for high honours for their loved one passing away last(maybe).

Jon White - Yes. The two World Wars represented huge sacrifices from their respective generations, and should be commemmorated accordingly. Selecting the "last" survivor is merely a symbolic noting of the passing of a corps of veterans who underwent horrors which we in modern Britain cannot imagine in order to do their patriotic duty.

Having thought about this further, I suspect the practicalities could be overcome.

It is a very honourable idea, and one I hope IDS has some success with.

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