die in the last ditch
die in the last ditchdie desperately defending something; die fighting to the last extremity.
This expression comes from a remark attributed to King William III ( 1650–1702 ). Asked whether he did not see that his country was lost, he is said to have responded: ‘There is one way never to see it lost, and that is to die in the last ditch’. Last-ditch is often used as an adjective meaning ‘desperately resisting to the end’.