Last WWI veteran, a woman, dies at 110
Florence Green celebrates her 109th birthday in 2010. She died Saturday.
February 8th, 2012
10:38 AM ET

Last WWI veteran, a woman, dies at 110

The last known surviving veteran of World War I has died. Florence Green, 110, was a waitress in Britain's Royal Air Force.

"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," Retired Air Vice-Marshal Peter Dye told Time.

"It reminds us of the Great War, and all warfare since then has been something that involved everyone," Dye, director-general of the RAF Museum, told Time. "It's a collective experience. ... Sadly, whether you are in New York, in London, or in Kandahar, warfare touches all of our lives."

Green was 17 when she joined the Women's Royal Air Force in 1918, two months before the armistice, the BBC reported.

She recalled her wartime experiences in a 2008 interview, retold in Time.

"I met dozens of pilots and would go on dates," she said. "I had the opportunity to go up in one of the planes but I was scared of flying. I would work every hour God sent. But I had dozens of friends on the base and we had a great deal of fun in our spare time. In many ways, I had the time of my life."

Two weeks shy of her 111th birthday, Green died in her sleep Saturday night at a home care facility in King's Lynn, Norfolk, according to the BBC.

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Filed under: United Kingdom • Veterans
soundoff (250 Responses)
  1. John-117

    How was she a veteran? She was a waitress! She never saw combat. She wasn't a soldier or pilot. She never killed any Germans. Not trying to be disrespectful to the poor woman, but she simply wasn't a vet. She just worked for the British Royal Air Force. Though technically she did "serve" in the war, hehe. :)

    February 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • CenTexan

      @john...Though technically she did "serve" in the war, hehe.

      Stupid much?

      February 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • John-117

      @CenTexan – Stupid? Nah, I'm not from Texas.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • peggy

      I spent 16 years in the U.S. Navy in non-combat roles (women didn't get that type of duty in my day). I never carried a gun, never was stationed on a ship. But I am still a veteran and have the DD-214 to prove it. Many veterans never see combat duty.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CenTexan

    why does cnn randomly delete perfectly good posts for no good reason? can't wait to how long it takes this one to be pulled.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Babak from LA

    RIP Flo ...

    February 8, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • MikeInNebraska

      Looks liek YOU didn't do too well in history class huh? Bet you know who won American Idol 2 years ago though huh?

      February 8, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeInNebraska

      That was for JOKESTER not you sorry.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jokesterer

    1918?! Did they even have war back then?

    February 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • palintwit

      It's hard to believe isn't it. Especially since evangelical bible bangers think the earth is barely that old.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • TimTomMom

      Oh man. Proof right here that our education system is broken. I bet you fools were texting or sleeping during history class. I also bet you voted for Obama.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jokesterer

      Voted?

      February 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul Ronco

      Yes, they even had one before it called the Revolutionary War

      February 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jokesterer

      Bluto says that's when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jokesterer

      Wow. The internet says there have been lots of wars throughout history. I count at least 7.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • dank

      I see we have a long, long way to go...

      February 8, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pat F

    It is a moment of note when the bloodiest conflict in world history is no longer a matter of living memory. RIP all WWI vets – many beloved grandfathers.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • tensors

      And many beloved grandmothers.
      Did you read the article?

      February 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • history lesson

      actually WWII was the bloodiest war in history but i do think the death of this last veteran of the great war is a moment to pause and reflect on where we are today compared to where we were then and wonder if the world we have today is what they thought they were fighting for

      February 8, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kat

    @John-117: A "veteran" may not be the same as a "combat veteran", but anyone who served in the military is a Veteran. Women in WWI & WWII did not serve in the same capacity as they do today, they were limited to support roles, whether in the field or back at home. Her non-combat job does not diminish the fact that Ms. Green is a Veteran. BTW – while many of the positions are filled by contractors & TCNs, the military still has some troops who serve in food prep/services...and they deploy.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • tensors

      There were many women combat veterans in the medical corps and throughout the war arena, including women pilots. And many of them were killed in the line of duty. One of the most undervalued and least visited places in monument-heavy metro DC is the Women's Military Service Memorial at the back of the entrance to Arlington Nat. Cemetery, just across the Memorial Bridge from DC into VA.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MikeInNebraska

    RIP Flo! Another true hero.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Robb1371

    There goes almost 111 years of history.....Thank-you for your service Mrs. Green......RIP

    February 8, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gwenn

      Well said! Can you imagine the stories she could tell? How wondrous that she lived so long, Rest In Peace, and thank you Mrs. Green, may you soar on Angels wings forever.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. hope120

    R I P

    February 8, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. william moore

    Are there ANY people alive who were alive in 1918??? A handful, at best.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Solitaire

      Sure, there are! People in their 90's and early 100's abound! Plan for a long life, the actuarial tables tell us that those who are teens today will live longer than 110.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kenny

    Rest in peace Florence.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Puffy

    Real newsflash: 110 year old woman has handlebar mustache?!?

    February 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • dank

      I knew SOMEONE would stoop to the expected level...grow up already!!

      February 8, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • zzzzzz

      If you're a lady, you will too. If you're a man, you better start shelling out money to wax your wife's mustache when she gets to be 110.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mad Max from Blunderdome

    Just to think, the war started from a backfiring Dussenberg in Sarajevo.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RillyKewl

    She was lucky to have enjoyed such a long, eventful life.
    We should be interviewing more of our elderly seniors, it would be a shame to lose all those fascinating memories of a time gone by. Imagine 111 years. That is really something. RIP Flo.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Rupert the Bold

    Aaaarrrrhhh! She could have been a pirate on me ship.

    February 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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