The government has expressed concern that it will be "difficult" to give the last survivor of the First World War a state funeral as some of the remaining veterans have indicated they do not want one and it may be hard to ascertain who the final survivor is. This would be a tragedy. A few years ago Australia held a state funeral for Alec Campbell, the last survivor of the Gallipoli campaign and it is only right that the United Kingdom makes a similar gesture. If a state funeral is not possible then there should be a national commeration. The generation who fought the First World War made a great sacrifice and it is essential that we should never forget them.
An Early Day Motion on this was tabled in the Commons two months ago by Iain Duncan Smith and here is the text:
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.