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. mstone

    I think she really is a dude, check out that beard.

    February 8, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. mstone

    When did she stop shaving? At the end of WW2?

    February 8, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Beefburger

    THAT'S IT! I am getting my extra large can of TROLL-O-CIDE!

    February 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. M

    For the People saying thank you for your service, You really are full of yourselves. She didn't serve in combat, she was a waitress, That's as safe a job as you can get.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • JERRY

      Well M WHAT SERVICE HAVE YOU SERVED IN YOU POS. MOST LIKELY LIVING IN YOUR MAMAS BASEMENT ANYWAY. I BET THIS WAITRESS SERVED HER COUNTRY FAR MORE THAN YOU EVER HAVE

      February 9, 2012 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank Ramsey

      You're an idiot

      February 9, 2012 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Mrs.Fizzy

      In those days a woman would never have been put into combat. This was probably one of very few ways she could have served in the war and as a woman she volunteered.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Gedwards

      So servicemenbers who are communicators, medics, supply clerks, translators, cooks, etc. are not sacrificing? Sheesh, what an ingrate.

      February 9, 2012 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
    • codifex

      Women served in many important roles in the World Wars. Nurses, Office Workers, Industry Workers, Command and Control Workers. Anything that the men, who were on the front, were not there to do.

      Morale is very important to a war effort and those ladies who worked to care for and feed the combatants did their part. After all, in Britain, the bombs fell on citizens as well as combatants. No one was safe.

      February 9, 2012 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Who cares what job she did? She served her country in a time of war. Why is it that holding a gun is perceived as the only way to serve your country these days? Patriotism and a spirit of service extend far beyond the front line just like those high ideals should extend beyond times of war.

      February 9, 2012 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Samb499

      there were are no safe jobs in war...obviously you have never experience war except on tv.
      There is nothing sweeter than leaving a frontline position and seeing a pretty face to remind one what they are fight FOR!

      February 9, 2012 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      @"M"; to "serve" does not mean only to be in combat. There are literally hundreds of different functions to be in while in the military.

      February 9, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      You are an idiot! Combat support services are STILL serving your country. Withoug combat support services, life for those who do the fighting would be even tougher than it already is. And for those of you who are ridiculing her appearance, you better hope you look half as good if you live to be 100-plus years.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      For you to say that she doesn't deserve thanks shows me that you are full of YOURself. Regardless of what role she served, she served her country, and to that end, she IS a veteran and DOES deserve thanks. The woman was a modest, 110-year-old veteran, and for you to try to disparage her by saying that she never fought in combat only shows what a mean-spirited, petty person you can be. Everyone has a right to express their opinion – even you, as misguided as yours is – and it's the right thing to thank people for their service. By the way, are you a veteran? Did you serve your country? People like this woman keep the soldiers going with morale-boosting kindness and with sustenance... what if no one saw that the troops were fed?

      February 10, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • WGR

      Not everyone serves on the front line. That woman was as much a veteran as the man on the front lines. She was support staff , like the logistician, the admin personnel and in her case services. I salute her and may God rest her soul after a long life.

      February 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. peggy

    Amen to that.

    February 9, 2012 at 4:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. iamisaid

    god bless you.

    February 9, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. adoto

    It figures that some males, I won't call them men, would make disparaging comments about this woman's physical appearance, while overlooking her contribution to history. I think immediately all women should be as critical about men's appearance, as men are of women. The men wouldn't make it for a day.Its all about looks for the men. Even when looks don't or shouldn't matter. If women judged men as harshly on looks as men do women, many men wouldn't have a significant other. Tom Brady is hot, but because you men can't stand it, you disparage him when he has long hair, call him a pretty boy, and what not. Funny, I don't see anyone making fun of Gisele Bunchen because she is pretty. Good looks only get you so far in life. They don't last forever. Having some real backbone and class like this women has, lasts forever.

    February 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. adoto

    I can't wait for the day when people can read a story about a heroic person, particularly a woman, and appreciate WHAT SHE DID and not make comments on HER PHYSICAL APPEARANCE. Her PHYSICAL APPEARANCE is not relevant! The story is about what she did, her service to the country during war. She is not entering a MISS USA contest.

    February 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. HowNowBrownCouch

    CNN comments seem to bring out the "best" in humans – and I mean that sarcastically. Whether on the front lines or behind the scenes, military personnel all sacrifice something. Those who are lucky enough to serve and come home gave up their time. Those who didn't come home, gave up so much more. For those of you who making fun of her position served or her appearance...what have you done to contribute, what have you sacrificed?

    February 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. David Crosby

    Kind of odd calling a waitress at war's end the last living "serviceman"..sort of a misrepresentation..more like the last waitress to serve in WWI...are there any newspaper boys that delivered papers to troops left alive..?

    February 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Javante

    110! I wish iwas that old

    February 13, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. John Smith

    Farewell Florence, your death marks the death of an era. Thankyou for your contribution to the war effort, we owe so much to the veterans of WW1 & WW2, which many of the pinheads alive today remain clueless about.

    February 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. bloop

    What did she die of?

    December 12, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Dan

    He doesn't look a day over 100.

    December 24, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. realtalk1999

    Wow with the commits i've readed on here makes me understand why our top leader can't work togther for the good of everyone. I'm proud of this lady and all the long hours she put in to keep the morale up for our men during WW 1

    January 3, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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