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. bobcat (w/o a hat) ©

    She looked great for being 110. Not a day over 90.

    February 8, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. Supporter

    You go get em young lady. You will be missed . AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICE!!!! You will be missed and are loved

    February 8, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Supporter

    Thank you for every thing florence . And especially your sacrifices!!!

    February 8, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • randoid1234

      That's great that she joined the Women's Air Corps, but she "had the time of her life" waitressing and servine the officer corps. I'm sure if you asked the front line rank and file their wartime experience would probably have been quite a bit different.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. CenTexan

    Farewell Florence...thank you for your service. RIP

    February 8, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      For being a waitress, or "dating" dozens of pilots?

      February 8, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Robb1371

      Well said.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    RIP Florence. But seriously am i the only one that noticed the beard? How has that not been mentioned. I just can't believe I am the first one to comment on it.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • B

      First thing I saw was the beard too. Other than that, there is no way she looked like she was even 100, let alone 109! Good for her!!

      February 8, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack Be Humble

      When one hundred ten years old you be, have that much hair? you will not.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  6. Karl Pilkington

    Don't nudge your granny when shes havin a shave.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. BOMBO ©

    RIP. Too bad she didn't survive long enough to kick the Argies in the next one.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  8. palintwit

    There's people like Florence Green who command respect and there's filthy trailer trash like... see if you can guess... (pssssttt... the answer is Sarah Palin.)

    February 8, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. Chinatown

    I don't think being a waitress classifies you as a veteran.......Isn't veteran a term used only for people who have seen combat?

    February 8, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • abby

      Being a veteran means: 1. A person who is long experienced or practiced in an activity or capacity: a veteran of political campaigns.
      2. A person who has served in the armed forces: "Privilege, a token income . . . were allowed for veterans of both world wars" (Mavis Gallant).
      3. An old soldier who has seen long service.
      1. Having had long experience or practice: a veteran actor.
      2. Of or relating to former members of the armed forces: veteran benefits

      February 8, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Ally

      A veteran is anyone who held a position in the military. The Royal Air Force had "waitress" on the military payroll, and the carpet bombing methods of WWI meant even being a waitress in Great Britain could be dangerous. Seeing actual combat has nothing to do with it.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • HZ

      carpet bombing in ww1? lol, are you sure you didn't confuse ww1 with ww2?

      February 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • eb79

      I think the saying is it takes 4 support jobs to support every 1 infantryman. Waitress does sound pretty silly and is a new one for me also, but either way serving is serving. And almost every member of any air force is more of a support role. I've been in the front and I've been in the back, and chances of you surviving in the front for 20 or 30 years isn't very good. Anyway, good on her for making it to 110. She must have been doing something right. RIP

      February 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jim

    Who is the young lady in the photo (the one on the right, I mean)? A relative? RAF officer?

    February 8, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. Elizabeth

    A beautiful lady, and almost 111 years old. World War 1 was a terrible war, and I'm sure that she cheered up the troops. Rest in peace! I can remember singing a WW1 song in a high school chorus: "Madame Jeanette." The song was so sad that it was hard to get through without crying, about the best war protest song there is, about a woman "waiting and watching each hour of the day, for someone who sleeps in San Pere, they say." Yes, fitting that the last survivor was a woman.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. danni30

    @ chinatown. no it means you went into the military and served a number of years with discharge.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. Blayze Kohime

    It was nice that she was still clear-headed at that age.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Caiha

    Yay, now ignorant people are officially free to deny it ever happened.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. smanCometh

    WWI...??? Unreal...We have lost a bit of treasured history with her passing. Now on to the WW2 vets...the greatest generation. When they are gone, this earth will be in some deep, deep trouble.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
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