Last Known WWI Vet Dead at 110

Florence Green served as a mess steward in the Women's Royal Air Force

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 7, 2012 12:33 PM CST

(Newser) – On Saturday night, the world lost its last known World War I service member. Though she never saw the front line, Florence Green, age 110, is thought to have been the last surviving veteran of the war. She was just two weeks shy of her 111th birthday, on Feb. 19, the BBC notes. Green joined the Women's Royal Air Force in 1918 at just 17 years old, two months before the armistice. She served food in the mess halls at RAF bases in England before leaving the service in 1919, after which she married and spent much of the rest of her life working at a hotel and volunteering with the Royal British Legion.

Green was "proud of her service and loved the people she worked with," says her daughter. The AP notes that it wasn't until 2010 that she was officially recognized as a veteran after a researcher found her service record in Britain's National Archives. "In a way, that the last veteran should be a lady and someone who served on the home front is something that reminds me that warfare is not confined to the trenches," noted the director-general of the RAF Museum. The last known WWI combat veteran, Claude Choules, died last year, also at age 110.

In this Feb. 19, 2010 photo, Florence Green, left, on her 109th birthday, is presented with a birthday cake by LAC Hannah Shaw on behalf of the RAF at her home in King's Lynn, east England.
In this Feb. 19, 2010 photo, Florence Green, left, on her 109th birthday, is presented with a birthday cake by LAC Hannah Shaw on behalf of the RAF at her home in King's Lynn, east England.   (AP Photo/Sac Chris Hill/MoD, HO)
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